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"The Gift of the Magi" Analysis Essay

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"The Gift of the Magi" Analysis Essay

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Analysis Essay
“The Gift of the Magi”
September 29, 2008

Prompt: O. Henry makes a statement about gift giving in his short story “The Gift of the Magi.” State what he says about gift giving and [discuss two ways he uses the story to make his statement.]

In “The Gift of the Magi” O. Henry makes the statement that the wisest gift are those from the heart. He makes this point by [creating admirable characters] and by [using an allusion to the Magi.] [O. Henry’s statement that the wisest gift are those from the heart can be backed by the story’s admirable characters, hardships they face, and the strength of their love.] {Della and her husband live difficult lives in poverty.} {With barely any money, and Christmas the next day, Della is in desperate need for more money to be able to buy her Jim a wonderful present.} (O. Henry describes a little bit of the hardships in which they face here, 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 vegetable man and the butcher until one’s cheeks burned with the silent imputation of parsimony that such close dealing implied. Three times Della counted it. One dollar and eighty-seven cents. And the next day would be Christmas.

This passage introduces the plot of the story. Christmas is just the next day, and with very little money, Della is scrambling to buy a present for her special Jim. She is giving her all just to get enough money. In the passage, it illustrates that Della is forced to go head-to-head with the grocer, vegetable man, and the butcher. Trying to use as little money possible. Though it describes how flustered Dell becomes from her actions, she must suck it up just for her husband. This shows that though she hates doing it, she is willing to because of her strong love for her Jim. As the story carries on, O. Henry points out just...

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