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How  love and sacrifice are intertwined in the story?  

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hab120 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 29, 2012 at 11:16 PM via web

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How  love and sacrifice are intertwined in the story?


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stolperia | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted February 29, 2012 at 11:39 PM (Answer #1)

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The Gift of the Magi is based on the close connection between love and sacrifice demonstrated by Jim and Della. The plot revolves around their absolute, total and complete devotion to each other and the extreme steps they are willing to take to show it.

Della is desparate to purchase a Christmas present  that is "just a little bit near to being worthy of the honour of being owned by Jim" but she starts the story with only $1.87 to pay for it. Sacrificing her fabulous hair, which would have taken most of her life to grow to below-the-knee length, meant giving up something she had known and treasured for her entire life. Giving up this integral part of her identity in order to buy Jim an appropriate present was a huge sacrifice.

In the same way, Jim decides to sell a family heirloom, the gold pocket watch inherited from his father and grandfather, in order to be able to purchase a suitable present for Della. Memories of times spent with family members no longer living would have flooded his mind every time he looked at that watch, but he sacrificed them all in order to raise funds to buy a present for the woman he loved.


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dnguha | College Teacher | (Level 3) Adjunct Educator

Posted March 5, 2012 at 2:20 AM (Answer #2)

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Act of sacrifices rendered by Della and Jim are motivated to fathom the depth of their love. Della disposes her treasured asset ( her beautiful hair) in order to get the coveted present for her husband. Jim, on the other hand, parts with his antique wrist watch to get a set of comb to adorn his dear wife. Hence, neither of their sacrifices serve the material purposes. They ventured to translate material things into spiritual ethos. But, their sacrifices prove, to what extent can they go to register their love . At least in this perspective, love and sacrifice have complimented each other.

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