The Lady Higher Up (Henry)

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The Lady Higher Up
Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: Two statues, one representing Liberty and the other Diana, engaged in a conversation about their roles and the people they encountered, discussing the impact of their presence on the lives of immigrants.

One night, the statue of Diana on the tower of the Garden in New York City struck up a conversation with the Statue of Liberty. Diana, a golden statue, was known for her flighty and whirly ways, while the Statue of Liberty was more steadfast and serious. They discussed their origins and how their creators and purposes did not necessarily dictate their personalities, but rather the associations they had made since being erected.

Mrs. Liberty — Statue of Liberty; responsible for welcoming immigrants; speaks with an Irish accent.
Miss Diana — Statue of Diana on a tower; sociable, fashionable, and observant of city life.

If ye wasn’t so light-headed and giddy ye’d know that I was made by a Dago and presented to the American people on behalf of the French Government.

Diana complained about the dullness of the city, as everyone seemed to be away. She shared a story about a downtown merchant who fell asleep at a roof garden show, only to be half-awoken by a waiter biting on a dime tip. The merchant then asked his stenographer to take a letter, to which she cheekily replied that she would if he made it an X.

The Statue of Liberty lamented her lonely life on the island, surrounded by water, and her responsibility to welcome immigrants to the city. She expressed her frustration at the poor conditions many of them faced upon arrival, and her temptation to simply let the coroner handle their naturalization papers.

’Tis weary work disseminatin’ the science of liberty in New York Bay.

Diana sympathized with the Statue of Liberty's plight, but also pointed out that she had seen many immigrants go on to achieve success in the city. She encouraged the Statue of Liberty to take pride in her job, as she played an important role in welcoming newcomers to the land of opportunity.