Pleaes give me three quotes from this short story, "The Gift of the Magi" by O. Henry.

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readerofbooks's profile pic

readerofbooks | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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This short story is about love and the sacrifices that love makes. I will give you three quotations that move the story along. Before I do this, let me give you a brief summary of the story.

Della and James are a young married couple and they are extremely poor. It is Christmas and they want to get each other gifts in view of their love. So, they both decide to sell their most prized possession to get something for the other. So, James sells his pocket watch and Della cuts her hair and sells it. With their new money, James buys a set of combs for Della's hair and Della buys James a chain for his watch. In the end, of course, they cannot use their new gifts, but their actions show sacrificial love. The short story ends by saying that they are wise.

Here is quote about their poverty:

"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 hat such close dealing implied."

Here is a quote about their most prized possessions:

"Now, there were two possessions of the James Dillingham Youngs in which they both took a mighty pride. One was Jim's gold watch that had been his father's and his grandfather's. The other was Della's hair. Had the queen of Sheba lived in the flat across the airshaft, Della would have let her hair hang out the window some day to dry just to depreciate Her Majesty's jewels and gifts."

Here is quote on the wisdom of what they have done; the short story also ends this way:

The magi, as you know, were wise men--wonderfully wise men--who brought gifts to the Babe in the manger. They invented the art of giving Christmas presents. Being wise, their gifts were no doubt wise ones, possibly bearing the privilege of exchange in case of duplication. And here I have lamely related to you the uneventful chronicle of two foolish children in a flat who most unwisely sacrificed for each other the greatest treasures of their house. But in a last word to the wise of these days let it be said that of all who give gifts these two were the wisest. O all who give and receive gifts, such as they are wisest. Everywhere they are wisest. They are the magi.

I suggest that you read the short story over again and look for more quotations that might help you.

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natrajktm | eNotes Newbie

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