Gift of magi essay

Have you ever loved someone and wanted to find him or her just the perfect present? Our bet is you have. Could be your mom, could be your significant other. And once you're in that gift-giving frame of mind, you're in the situation of Della, the main character from "The Gift of the Magi." That's why whenever the Christmas season rolls around, people (and television networks) go in for this story big time.

You'll probably also face the same questions Della did. What is a perfect gift? And how much (money, time, etc.) are you willing to give up to find something that would really matter to that person? You might even be lead to some surprisingly large questions. What really matters, and what's really valuable? For a short, simple, and delightful way of assuring yourself that "all you need is love," this story's hard to beat. Read it to get a major case of the warm and fuzzies. Though it might also make you think more carefully about just what "love" means.

Besides all that, to be honest, you've probably encountered this story somewhere even if you didn't know it. You might have seen it filtered through Sesame Street (which lodged it forever in your child subconscious), or you might have seen it recently parodied while watching The Simpsons . "The Gift of the Magi" is the original, though, and in our opinion, nothing's really touched it. It's hard not to be charmed by O. Henry 's storytelling style.

  1. How would the story be different it were told from Jim's perspective rather than Della's? Why might O. Henry have chosen to tell the story from Della's perspective?
  2. Is "Gift of the Magi" a story within a story?
  3. Do Della and Jim feel real, or do they feel like creations of the narrator to illustrate his point about giving?
  4. Do you think O. Henry himself is the narrator of the story? Why or why not?
  5. Is Della and Jim's love believable? Why or why not?
  6. Put aside all of the "magi" stuff at the end. Do you think the story's ending is a happy one?
  7. The narrator seems to be out to prove a point with the story. Is it possible to read the story in a way contrary to the way the narrator seems to understand it? How would that be?

Gift of magi essay

gift of magi essay


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