Born William Sidney Porter, this master of short stories is much better known under his pen name "O. Henry." He was born September 11, 1862 in North Carolina, where he spent his childhood. O. Henry's stories are famous for their surprise endings, to the point that such an ending is often referred to as an "O. Henry ending." He was called the American answer to Guy de Maupassant. Both authors wrote twist endings, but O. Henry stories were much more playful and optimistic. His stories are also well known for witty narration. Most of O. Henry's stories are set in his own time, the early years of the 20th century. Many take place in New York City and deal for the most part with ordinary people: clerks, policemen, waitresses. Among his most famous stories are: Gift of the Magi, The Cop and the Anthem, The Ransom of Red Chief.
Gift of the Magi
O. Henry´s short story Gift of the Magi presents a beautiful Christmas love story. It´s about a young couple who sacrifices the most valuable things they got in their home. Della the “mistress of the house” decides to buy Jim a chain for his prized pocket watch given to him by his father's father. To raise the funds, she has her long, beautiful hair “cascade of brown waters” cut off and sold to make a wig. Meanwhile, Jim decides to sell his watch to buy Della a beautiful set of combs made out of tortoiseshell and jewels for her lovely, knee-length brown hair. Although each is disappointed to find the gift they chose rendered useless, each is pleased with the gift that they received, because it represents their love for one another. “As it said, of all who give and receive gifts, such as they are wisest. Everywhere they are wisest. They are the magi.”
One dollar and eighty-seven cents nominative sentence. That was all. And sixty cents of it was in pennies. Pennies anadiplosis saved one and two at a time by bulldozing the grocer and the vegetable man and polysyndeton the butcher enumeration...