Theme and Narrative Elements in the Short Story of
The Gift of the Magi
ENG125: Introduction to Literature
December 10, 2012
The short story The Gift of the Magi written by O Henry is written as a Christmas love story. O Henry portrays a picture of a humble couple who just wants to show just how much they love one another. As the story goes along it is apparent that the theme of this story is about love and the sacrifices of love. O Henry is brilliant by representing this love story, with his use of third point of view and the character he picked to tell this story. O Henry by choosing to write this story mainly in a the third person point of view, is able to show the reader just how underprivileged Jim and Della live by being able to break away from the story to tell us about Jim and Della’s home. “In the vestibule below was a letter– box into which no letter would go, and an electric button from which no mortal finger could coax a ring.” (Henry, 1906) Della’s prize possession was her beautiful hair, and for Jim it was a pocket watch. Having these two things in their lives made them feel as though they were something to talk about. O Henry is able to tell us this story and connect the couple to a bigger picture. The bigger picture is the story of the Magi, who were wise men who brought wise gifts for the babe in the manger. If O Henry had selected to write this story from any other point of view, he could not have used the moral he was trying to portray in this story. O Henry selected Della as his main character of this story. Showing just how caring that she is. She must buy Jim a Christmas present, but does not have enough money in which to do so. Even though Della herself is also in need, “On went her old brown jacket; on went her old brown hat.” (Henry, 1906) She thinks of her love for Jim first. She puts his feeling first and this is shown by asking that Jim would still see her as pretty even with all of her...
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