The Gift of the Magi

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  • Topic: Queen of Sheba, Solomon, Pocket watch
  • Pages : 1 (368 words )
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  • Published : March 20, 2011
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The Gift of the Magi
By O. Henry

In “The Gift of the Magi” O. Henry makes the statement that the wisest kind of gift is one that comes from the heart. He makes this point by creating admirable characters and using an allusion to the Magi. His point can be supported by Della and Jim’s undying love for each other and their determination to get each other meaningful gifts, even if that means sacrificing “the greatest treasures of their house”.

Della’s hair seems to be the very essence of her beauty and self worth, “rippling and shining like a cascade of brown waters. It reached below her knee and made itself almost a garment for her.” Della's hair is said to be so gorgeous that it would inspire envy in the Queen of Sheba. It is certainly, by all accounts, her most prized possession. The only thing that appears to mean more to her, is “her Jim.” Jim treasures most, a gold pocket watch, one “that had been his father’s and his grandfather’s” before him. “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.”

Even so, both Della and Jim are readily willing to sell these items just to buy each other Christmas presents. Ironically though, they both buy each other gifts to go with the things the other had sold. Della buys a platinum watch chain which she describes as being “made for Jim and no one else.” Jim buys a set of “beautiful combs, pure tortoise shell, with jeweled rims--just the shade to wear in the beautiful vanished hair.” Even though they “most unwisely sacrificed for each other the greatest treasures of their house,” and neither of their gifts are able to be used, they end up only loving each other more for these gifts. Selling their most prized possessions shows that nothing in the world means more to them than each other. “Of all who give gifts these two were the wisest… Everywhere they are wisest. They...
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