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"The Gift of the Magi" Plot Summary & Analysis

The Gift of the Magi Summary by O. Henry

"The Gift of Magi" story is about Della Dillingham Young, who wants to buy presents to her husband and all what she has is $1.87 for Christmas. They are very poor, Jim and Della and this is what we learn from the narrator. The story talks about love between Jim and Della and the intimacy as well as sacrifice. They sacrificed their most possessing to be able to live and to afford buying gifts for each other on the Christmas. They both unknowingly sacrifice for the other party, which is so romantic for the reader. Yes, they are poor but they are fortunate about their love. They wealth remains in their love and sincere bond. Probably their poverty is what makes them appreciate their lives and limited properties.

Author of “The Gift of Magi”:

The Gift of the Magi is a short story; one of a few hundred composed by O. Henry somewhere around 1903 and 1910. It was distributed in a New York City daily paper in 1905 and in a gathering, The Four Million, in 1906.

Characters of “The Gift of Magi”:

1- Jim is Della’s husband. He is the breadwinner of the family that consists of him and Della only. His job is not enough for both of them but he struggles to make Della happy by buying her Christmas gifts. He sacrificed his family inherited watch and most precious to buy her a Christmas gift.

2- Della is a very devoted woman. She is the heroine of "The Gift of the Magi" story, however, she is really poor woman like her husband. She is a housewife. She only lives for her husband Jim who fills her with joy, warmth and love. She sold her hair so she can afford a gift for her husband.

Plot Summary of “The Gift of Magi”:

Not Having Money to Buy Christmas Gift Summary:

"The Gift of Magi" is about Mr. also Mrs. James Dillingham Young and the occasions that happen on one Christmas night. This couple that likewise passes by James and Della does not have a considerable measure of cash. One dollar and eighty-seven pennies is all Della has to her name and the following day was Christmas. Della felt this was insufficient to purchase her darling James a tolerable Christmas present.

Della Sells Her Hair to Buy a Gift Summary:

Despite the fact that they did not have a ton, James and Della had two things that treasured in this world, other than one another. James adored his gold watch that had been passed down eras and Della cherished her long, lovely hair. They both took incredible pride in these things. With an end goal to purchase James a present, Della goes into town and offers her hair to Madame Sofronie. She gets twenty dollars for this tribute. At that point Della goes to an alternate store nearby and buys an awesome chain deserving of James’s watch.

James Arrives Home Summary:

At the point when James arrives home, he recognized that Della trim every last bit of her hair off. Della considers what she has done yet then Della sees why he is taken unsuspecting. 

Presenting Gifts and Story End Summary:

James then gives Della her present and shockingly it is a situated of wonderful brushes; for the hair she trim off. Della then gives James her present. He opens it to discover the watch chain. She then requests James to bring his watch so she can see the chain on it. Rather, James tumbles down on the sofa and grins.

Analysis of “The Gift of Magi”:

The Humor of O. Henry and creative energy vanquish any journalistic inclinations he may have exchanged to fiction. His affinity for sensational incongruity, a trademark in a considerable lot of his short stories, gives his style its unique flavor. Delicate and astute, his written work is plagued by that prominently attractive quality known as "human investment." This quality is best exemplified in his mission for genuineness: his yearning to expound on genuine individuals in genuine circumstances.

Jim and Della are not the results of an excessively nostalgic creative ability. The creator endeavors to make circumstances and also physical surroundings that seem to be valid to life. Both the heroes acknowledge life as they discover it without offering into the negative feelings of misery or hopelessness. Della's just snippet of uncertainty still rotates around her spouse's prosperity, when she looks for heavenly intercession with the goal that she may stay really in Jim's eyes. 

Jim covers his trepidation of Della's failure with a practically influenced detachment when he asks for that they just put their Christmas gifts away and keep them for an unspecified future. At exactly that point does he uncover that he has relinquished his fortune to secure Della's craving. His sureness that they will both utilize these things as a part without bounds gives the implicit believed that life is certain to enhance for them.

The heroes do not respond to one another out of righteous, obligation, or adoration for willful reparation: They essentially encapsulate the twin spirits of affection and Christmas. For the not exactly passionate O. Henry, these embodiments are one and the same. The creator recommends that slant does not need to be yielded to the reason for authenticity.

The Third Person in “The Gift of Magi”:

In fact, "The Gift of the Magi" story is by all accounts third individual constrained omniscient. It's told in the third-individual, and just takes after Della. We don't see what Jim is doing amid the story, and once he does show up, he stays shut to us: we don't realize what his response to Della's hair is any more than Della does. We can't be totally fulfilled by this characterization, however, in light of the fact that the storyteller has such a free identity and appears to know a considerable measure more than Della does now and again. He's The Storyteller. It's as though he sees everything, except generally constrains himself to Della's perspective by decision for narrating purposes. In the event that the storyteller portrayed everything that were going on, he'd demolish the shock finishing.

We know the storyteller is truly more like an omniscient being, however, on the grounds that now and then he zooms out to make considerably more general affirmations that fly route over the activity of the story's characters. The most evident of these is toward the end, when he says the magi to which Della and Jim are completely negligent. Yet there are different places as well, in the same way as when he zooms out from the sobbing Della to portray the level. There are likewise every one of those minutes when he makes a more widespread comment about "the way life is, for example, Life is comprised of wails, wheezes, and grins, with sneezes prevailing.

Morals in “The Gift of Magi”:

The Gift of the Magi is a fantastic illustration of incongruity in writing. Incongruity is an artistic procedure in which a desire of what should happen contrasts significantly from the real result. For this situation, Jim and Della every tribute their most cherished belonging so the other can completely appreciate theirs; Jim offers his watch to purchase Della's brushes, anticipating that her should have the capacity to utilize them, and Della offers her hair to purchase Jim's watch-chain. Neither anticipates that the other will have made that yield. The incongruity here works both on this useful level and on a deeper more wistful level. Both Della and Jim purchase one another a gift that at last appears to be monetarily silly. Being poor they can't stand to waste cash on things they can't utilize. On the other hand, what they get is something they don't expect: a more immaterial gift in the indication of the amount they adore one another and are eager to relinquish to fulfill one another.

This way and technique has a method for weaving together "The Gift of the Magi" story crosswise over individual sentences and issues it a stream that eventual softened separated by reviewing more finish, independent sentences. It's common of the ways we tell stories when we talk. This style keeps audience members holding tight starting with one sentence then onto the next. It additionally keeps them from losing all sense of direction in excessively long sentences. Since when you're listening to a story you can't do a reversal and read a sentence once more, it’s critical that you don't get lost. In the event that you get got on a specific sentence it may make you lose the string of the entire story. Obviously, as O. Henry is attempting to catch that vibe of telling a story orally, he likewise tosses in a lot of locations to his crowd of audience members, as in, "Which is constantly a gigantic undertaking, dear companions, and a mammoth errand. This further makes the inclination that he is talking specifically to us.

Analysis of “The Gift of Magi”:

I did enjoy reading "The Gift of the Magi" story because, despite it is a short story, it has the morals and beautiful meaning of life. Love and sacrifice are both the two key themes of "The Gift of the Magi" story and it showed tenderness between the two married couple. They are very decent and loving each other. I cannot imagine someone sacrificing her hair to buy a gift for her husband or lover or even a family member. It is a strong lesson for those who pretend happiness remains in possessing huge amounts of money.


In the storyteller's last passage, which is most likely a zoom out of immeasurable scope, the storyteller lets us know that it doesn't generally make a difference that Jim and Della's available ended up being futile. They are the smartest providers of all indeed, they're the magi. We leave feeling fulfilled and content. The heroes don't respond to one another out of principled, obligation, or affection for purposeful reparation like they basically encapsulate the twin spirits of adoration and Christmas. For the not exactly passionate O. Henry, these embodiments are one and the same. The creator proposes that assumption does not need to be yielded to the reason for authenticity.

"The Gift of the Magi" Plot Summary & Analysis

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