"The Gift of the Magi" by O. Henry.

Essay by astaraelHigh School, 10th gradeA+, August 2003

download word file, 2 pages 3.0

Downloaded 86 times

In the short story, "The Gift of the Magi," written by O. Henry, Mr. and Mrs. James Dillingham Young are in for a big surprise. At Christmastime, they each make a sacrifice that is hard to bear, but the results show that it pays off. The hard trials they must endure make them realize that unconditional love is more important than material possessions.

Since Jim and Della live in a dilapidated flat, they obviously don't have a lot of money. In order to give a gift, each one sold his or her most prized possession. This shows extreme selflessness. Giving up such a central thing in their lives was an amazing feat. However, with their newfound money, they bought each other something that can only be utilized with their recently sold possession. In doing this, they didn't demonstrate that they thought a whole lot of the other person.

Jim illustrated that he thought that Della's life was centered on her beautiful hair, while Della showed that she thought the same of Jim and his watch. This just proves that all in all, love can be confusing and silly.

"The Gift of the Magi" is ironic at every turn. Della's hair would be made even more beautiful with the tortoise shell combs Jim buys her. Even without these additions, her hair is compared to the glamorous Queen of Sheba. Her majesty would have been living in a run down flat just like Della. Like this could ever happen! With her jewels and riches, the Queen of Sheba wouldn't have lived in squalor, but the story definitely makes it believable. "Had King Solomon been the janitor, with all his treasures piled up in the basement, Jim would have pulled out his watch every time he passed, just to...