The wonderful story ‘The Gift Of The Magi ‘ has been written by O.Henry (real name – William Sidney Porter) who was born in 1862 in North Carolina ,USA. After finishing school he worked for sometime as a clerk in his uncle’s drugstore in which he was wrongfully convicted for embezzlement and sent to prison . There he developed a sympathy for common man and that is where he drew inspiration for his stories . His stories are also marked by humour and irony, one special feature being the dramatic and sudden twist at the end . Other stories written by him are ‘The Four Million’ and ‘Sixes and Sevens’ .He died in 1910 , virtually penniless.
The story shows how ,in the determination to find the perfect gift for each other the two main characters make an important sacrifice in the name of love. The main theme of the story is supported by four pillars of sacrifice , love ,actual wealth and the true spirit of Christmas. The theme of sacrifice is justified by the sacrifice of their most prized possessions by Jim and Della to buy presents for each other. True wealth , here , shoes that the richness (financial well-being) of a person is not determined by the number of possessions he has . It is determined by the amount of love he receives. The theme of love shows the affection of the couple for each other along with the right spirit of giving. And the true spirit of Christmas says that Christmas time is the time of bringing cheer into the lives of less privileged people. It is also a period of sharing , giving and receiving gifts and spreading bonhomie . What the writer wishes to highlight is that the giving and receiving of gifts is an integral part of christmas but when the spirit of sacrifice is added to it , it gives a greater meaning to the gift.
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