"The Gift of the Magi" by O. Henry: The Moral of the Story.

Essay by Rachel123High School, 10th gradeA, January 2006

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The definition of love is " a deep, tender, ineffable feeling of affection and solicitude toward a person." In "The Gift of the Magi," the two main characters possess a love for each other that is so strong that they are willing to sacrifice their greatest treasures for each other, with no regrets. Also, they do not obsess over superficial things like appearances. Therefore, the moral of the story is that it is not the material things that matter, it is the love you have for another person, and the sacrifices you are willing to make for them. This moral will become evident after examining the following three events that took place in the story: after Della cut her hair, James's love for her was not even minutely affected, both James and Della gave up their most prized possession, and Della saved every penny she could for a year so that she could buy James a special present for Christmas.

First of all, after Della cut her hair, James's love for her was not even minutely affected. He loved her for who she was on the inside, and could not have cared less about the appearance of her hair. This point proven in the following quote spoken by James: "Don't make any mistake about me. I don't think there's anything in the way of a haircut or a shave or a shampoo that could make me like my girl any less." By not reacting negatively to Della's drastic change in hairstyle, it was shown that James's love for Della was much too strong to be impinged by something as trivial as a haircut.

Secondly, both James and Della willingly gave up their most prized possessions so that they could buy exquisite gifts for each other for Christmas. James...