The Gift of the Magi. ONE DOLLAR AND EIGHTY-SEVEN CENTS. That was all. She had put it aside, one cent and then another and then another, in her careful. One dollar and eighty–seven cents. That was all. And sixty cents of it was in pennies. Pennies saved one and two at a time by bulldozing the grocer and the. The Gift of the Magi Story Pyramid: Most good stories start with a fundamental list of ingredients: the initial situation, conflict, complication, climax, suspense.
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Download The Gift of the Magi free in PDF & EPUB format. Download O. Henry's The Gift of the Magi for your site, tablet, IPAD, PC or mobile. THE GIFT OF THE MAGI. by O. Henry. One dollar and eighty-seven cents. That was all. And sixty cents of it was in pennies. Pennies saved one and two at a time . from The Gift of the Magi and Other Stories. This Level 1 ELLSA lesson can be accessed on the internet at bestthing.info Lesson .
Henry, these essences are one and the same. The author suggests that sentiment does not have to be sacrificed to the cause of realism. Crowded city in which the Youngs rent for eight dollars per month a second-story flat.
It is furnished, but with obviously second-hand and outdated furniture. Henry skilfully evokes the shabbiness of the rented rooms and the building that contains them, calling attention to such details as the non-functional mail slot in the lobby and the broken doorbell. Within the flat itself, he points out the worn carpet and couch and the almost useless piece of mirror that Della has for making herself up. It is essential that the narrator explain the poor circumstances in which the loving couple do live.
The lack of any elegance or pride in their immediate surroundings must be emphasized so readers understand why it is so vital that each character present the other with a wonderful Christmas gift. Surroundings so dismal make both Jim and Della yearn for any possession of substantial beauty and worth as a gift. What is one Biblical allusion quote from the story? Why are Della and Jim connected to the three wise men from the Bible?
The story alludes to the Bible most prominently in the final paragraph: They were the first to give Christmas gifts. Being wise, their gifts were doubtless wise ones. And here I have told you the story of two children who were not wise. The narrator is alluding to the Wise Men the Magi of the Bible, who brought gifts to the new-born Jesus because, seeing the Star of Bethlehem, they perceived that it heralded the birth of the King of the Jews.
There are several important meanings to this allusion. First, the Wise Men were not Jews themselves; the word magi was historically a term for followers of Zoroastrianism. Some accounts even consider them priests, or kings.
The importance of this fact lies in the meaning of their visit to the infant Jesus; not necessarily as a sign of abandoning their own religion, but as a gesture of deep respect across lines of faith and nobility. Second, the allusion implies that, being the first people to give Christmas gifts, the thought and purpose behind those gifts are at least as important as the gifts themselves.
The reason and the way in which the magi gave their gifts is the true meaning, not the exact identity or the monetary value of the gift. Della and Jim are unwise "children" because, in a sense, their actions were hasty, emotional and narrowly conceived; their sole intent was to please the other.
The irony is, of course, that neither of them is able to enjoy their gift now, and they have both lost what was most valuable to them. To the modern, materialistic perspective, this might seem like a foolish arrangement. Yet, "they are the magi" because the purpose of their actions was pure, and indeed they did make each other happy by way of showing the lengths of self-sacrifice they were each willing to go to in order to exalt the other.
As frustrated as they both might be, it seems difficult to imagine Jim and Della doing anything but growing closer after the events of this Christmas.
How does point of view including the narrator and his language help to explain the irony and the related theme in "The Gift of the Magi" by O.
Henry's "The Gift of the Magi," the theme of the story is that of selfless giving from the heart, like that of the magi or wise men in the Christmas story. The irony, of course, is that Della sells her hair to download Jim a watch fob "fob chain" for his pocket watch, but Jim sells his watch to download Della beautiful combs for her long, luxurious hair.
In this case, each has sacrificed what was most dear to him or her for the other—which the other then cannot use.
Does not assume character's perspective and is not a character in the story. The narrator reports on events and lets the reader supply the meaning. However, it is also noted that this storyteller is somewhat unusual—he is a narrator with personality and presence.
The narrator while not a character is the story , adopts a personality that connects to the reader The narrator's style is informal: described by one source as "folksy"— to me he talks like a fairy tale.
However, he also adds side comments throughout the story. This was done by Charles Dickens as well, and is called "authorial intrusion," which gives the story an added dimension. The narrator is like a third character, but only in the telling; and he concentrates more on Della's feelings. Della's character is presented very much like a princess in need of a hero, as she sits down and cries When Della goes to sell her hair, the narrator makes one think of a Disney princess with his description: With a whirl of skirts and with a brilliant sparkle still in her eyes, she fluttered out the door and down the stairs to the street.
The imagery used supports this feeling: Oh, and the next two hours tripped by on rosy wings. With the mood that the language creates, the reader is probably not surprised by the story's outcome: for before the reader's eyes, a Christmas miracle takes place. Each of the young people gives up that which is dearest to him or her, as a gift from the heart.
The irony is not lost on the audience, especially when the narrator likens the couple to the magi. Like them, the narrator notes: And here I have lamely related to you the uneventful chronicle of two foolish children in a flat who most unwisely sacrificed for each other the greatest treasures of their house.
But in a last word to the wise of these days let it be said that of all who give gifts these two were of the wisest. Of all who give and receive gifts, such as they are the wisest. Everywhere they are the wisest. They are the magi. The narrator belittles his technique first by claiming his account is "lame," and then he resorts to some sarcasm, citing that they "unwisely" sacrificed; however, in the last several sentences, he points out the irony, and says that they gave most wisely: they are the magi—the wise ones.
This, then, points to the story's themes of love and generosity: It is more blessed to give than to receive. The main irony of the story is that both have given away their precious possession to please each other but they both lose their treasures to know that they are the magi.
The Gift of the Magi
What is the symbolism in "The Gift of the Magi" by O. Both Jim and Della gave up their most prized possession for one another; this symbolizes the way that lovers give all to one another. Of course, the specific objects can be seen as having symbolic meaning; he gives away his watch all his time ; she gives away her hair her beauty.
Both Jim and Della gave up a possession the forfieted the importance of the gift they would receive from their spouse. The gifts showing the importance of giving everything of themselves. The key note in the story is that both Jim and Della do not focus on what they have lost, but instead are touched as the reader is by the gifts that they have received.
They come bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to Baby Jesus in Bethlehem. The gold is a symbol of love, the frankincense and myrrh were used to burn and had a sweet aroma. They were also ingredients used in developing medicines.
These gifts were not only practical, but precious. Jim and Della gave gifts that were also the same. They were prized possessions but the gifts they bought were practical; combs for her hair and a chain for his watch. They bought these things to add to the importance of their possessions, but in the end the greatest gift they had was their love for each other. The watch also more conventionally represents time, which Jim gives to Della in the form of the hours he works to support the household and the hours he spends at home afterwards.
The gold in the watch can also symbolize several things, including purity, money which the couple lacks , inner value, and permanence. Christmas Eve finds her in possession of a meagre one dollar and eighty-seven cents, the sum total of her savings, with which she wants to download a gift for her husband, Jim.
Although she lives in an eight-dollar-a- week flat and her general surroundings, even by the greatest stretch of the imagination, do not meet the standards of genteel poverty, Della determines that she cannot live through Christmas without giving Jim a tangible reminder of the season.
Distraught, she clutches the one dollar and eighty-seven cents in her hand as she moves discontentedly about her tiny home.
Suddenly, catching a glance of herself in the cheap pier glass mirror, a manoeuvre possible only for the slender and agile viewer, the perfect solution suggests itself. Whirling about with happiness, she lets down her long, beautiful hair. It is like brown sable and falls in caressing folds to below her knees. Entering quickly, lest her nerve desert her, she offers to sell her hair. Madame Sofronie surveys the luxuriant tresses, unceremoniously slices them off, and hands Della twenty dollars.
For the next two hours, Della feels herself in paradise, temporarily luxuriating in the knowledge that she can download anything she wants. She finally sees exactly what she wants, a platinum watch fob that costs twenty-one dollars.
Arriving back at the flat, breathless but triumphant, Della remembers her newly bobbed appearance. She reaches for the curling irons and soon a mass of close- cropped curls adorns her shorn head. She stares at herself anxiously in the mirror, hoping that her husband will still love her. As is her usual custom, she prepares dinner for the always punctual Jim and sits down to await his arrival.
The precious gift is tightly clutched in her hand. She mutters an imprecation to God so that Jim will think she is still pretty. He is a careworn young man, only twenty-two and already burdened with many responsibilities. He opens the door, sees Della, and an indiscernible look, neither sorrow nor surprise, overtakes him.
His face can only be described as bearing a mask of melancholy disbelief. Even though Della rushes to assure him that her hair grows fast and that she will soon be back to normal, Jim cannot seem to be persuaded that her beautiful hair is really gone. Della implores him to understand that she simply could not have lived through Christmas without downloading him a gift; she begs him, for her sake, as well as the seasons, to be happy.
Jim, as if waking from a trance, embraces her and readily tells her that there is nothing a shampoo or haircut could do to Della that would alter his love for her. In the excitement he has forgotten to give her gift, and now he offers her a paper- wrapped package.
Tearing at it eagerly, Della finds a set of combs, tortoise shell, bejewelled combs that she has so often admired in a shop on Broadway, combs whose colour combines perfectly with her own vanished tresses. Her immense joy turns to tears but quickly returns when she remembers just how fast her hair grows. Jim has not yet seen his beautiful present. She holds it out to him, and the precious metal catches all the nuances of light in the room. Jim looks at her with infinite love and patience and suggests that they both put away their presents—for a while.
Jim has sold his watch in order to download the combs for Della even as she has sold her hair to download the watch chain for Jim.
Like the Magi, those wise men who invented the tradition of Christmas giving, both Della and Jim have unwisely sacrificed the greatest treasures of their house for each other. However, of all those who give gifts, these two are inevitably the wisest. Deeply in love with her husband, Della is distraught that Christmas Day is imminent and she has but a pittance to spend for a gift for him.
Although her love for her husband is enough to sustain her even in this abject poverty, not being able to honour her husband with a worthy Christmas gift is simply too much to bear.
The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry
She is overcome with tears of helplessness, but they pass as inspiration moves her to a creative solution to her dilemma. Her willingness to sacrifice for him bespeaks the depth of her love. Times had once been better for Jim. A drop in their income has not changed the fact of their love for each other. Ever punctual, Jim may be so in part because of the one treasure he possesses, a beautiful gold watch that had belonged to his father and his grandfather before him.
Slightly embarrassed by its inglorious fob, an old leather strap, Jim often checks the time furtively.
Della Visits Mme. Sofronie: Madame Sofronie is characterized as a cold, tough, unsympathetic woman who is only pretending to be a foreign- born artiste for business purposes but is really an ignorant Irish woman from Brooklyn. She puts on airs with her customers but not with a woman like Della who is a seller and not a downloader. Now, there were two possessions of the James Dillingham Youngs in which they both took a mighty pride. One was Jim's gold watch that had been his father's and his grandfather's.
The other was Della's hair. Had the queen of Sheba lived in the flat across the airshaft, Della would have let her hair hang out the window some day to dry just to depreciate Her Majesty's jewels and gifts. 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 see him pluck at his beard from envy.
So now Della's beautiful hair fell about her rippling and shining like a cascade of brown waters. It reached below her knee and made itself almost a garment for her. And then she did it up again nervously and quickly. Once she faltered for a minute and stood still while a tear or two splashed on the worn red carpet.
On went her old brown jacket; on went her old brown hat. With a whirl of skirts and with the brilliant sparkle still in her eyes, she fluttered out the door and down the stairs to the street.
Where she stopped the sign read: "Mne. Hair Goods of All Kinds. Madame, large, too white, chilly, hardly looked the "Sofronie. Oh, and the next two hours tripped by on rosy wings. Forget the hashed metaphor. She was ransacking the stores for Jim's present. She found it at last. It surely had been made for Jim and no one else. There was no other like it in any of the stores, and she had turned all of them inside out. It was a platinum fob chain simple and chaste in design, properly proclaiming its value by substance alone and not by meretricious ornamentation--as all good things should do.
It was even worthy of The Watch. As soon as she saw it she knew that it must be Jim's. It was like him. Quietness and value--the description applied to both.
Gift of the Magi (Penguin Readers, Level 1)
Twenty-one dollars they took from her for it, and she hurried home with the 87 cents. With that chain on his watch Jim might be properly anxious about the time in any company. Grand as the watch was, he sometimes looked at it on the sly on account of the old leather strap that he used in place of a chain. When Della reached home her intoxication gave way a little to prudence and reason. She got out her curling irons and lighted the gas and went to work repairing the ravages made by generosity added to love.
Which is always a tremendous task, dear friends--a mammoth task. Within forty minutes her head was covered with tiny, close-lying curls that made her look wonderfully like a truant schoolboy. She looked at her reflection in the mirror long, carefully, and critically.
But what could I do--oh! Jim was never late. Della doubled the fob chain in her hand and sat on the corner of the table near the door that he always entered. Then she heard his step on the stair away down on the first flight, and she turned white for just a moment.
She had a habit for saying little silent prayer about the simplest everyday things, and now she whispered: "Please God, make him think I am still pretty. He looked thin and very serious. Poor fellow, he was only twenty-two--and to be burdened with a family!
He needed a new overcoat and he was without gloves.
Jim stopped inside the door, as immovable as a setter at the scent of quail. His eyes were fixed upon Della, and there was an expression in them that she could not read, and it terrified her. It was not anger, nor surprise, nor disapproval, nor horror, nor any of the sentiments that she had been prepared for. He simply stared at her fixedly with that peculiar expression on his face.
Della wriggled off the table and went for him. I had my hair cut off and sold because I couldn't have lived through Christmas without giving you a present. It'll grow out again--you won't mind, will you? I just had to do it. My hair grows awfully fast. You don't know what a nice-- what a beautiful, nice gift I've got for you.
I'm me without my hair, ain't I? It's Christmas Eve, boy. Be good to me, for it went for you. Maybe the hairs of my head were numbered," she went on with sudden serious sweetness, "but nobody could ever count my love for you. Shall I put the chops on, Jim? He enfolded his Della. For ten seconds let us regard with discreet scrutiny some inconsequential object in the other direction. Eight dollars a week or a million a year--what is the difference?
A mathematician or a wit would give you the wrong answer. The magi brought valuable gifts, but that was not among them. This dark assertion will be illuminated later on. Jim drew a package from his overcoat pocket and threw it upon the table. 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.
But if you'll unwrap that package you may see why you had me going a while at first. And then an ecstatic scream of joy; and then, alas! For there lay The Combs--the set of combs, side and back, that Della had worshipped long in a Broadway window. Beautiful combs, pure tortoise shell, with jewelled rims--just the shade to wear in the beautiful vanished hair.
They were expensive combs, she knew, and her heart had simply craved and yearned over them without the least hope of possession. And now, they were hers, but the tresses that should have adorned the coveted adornments were gone. But she hugged them to her bosom, and at length she was able to look up with dim eyes and a smile and say: "My hair grows so fast, Jim!One was Jim's gold watch that had been his father's and his grandfather's.
To the modern, materialistic perspective, this might seem like a foolish arrangement. 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 see him pluck at his beard from envy.
I arrive in Jackson with no family, no food, and no money. His penchant for dramatic irony, a trademark in many of his short stories, gives his style its distinctive flavour.
But cars stopped for us on every street. He opens the watch and looks at it with love. Value "Gift of the Magi" revolves around a young couple, Della and Jim, who lack a lot in the way of material possessions and external amusements. Enter the email address you signed up with and we'll email you a reset link.
She got out her curling irons and lighted the gas and went to work repairing the ravages made by generosity added to love.