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One of the greatest storytellers of all times, O.Henry deals with the eternal and universal theme of love's triumph over all obstacles. Here, it is poverty which is imposed by circumstances, makes it hard for the loving couple to please each other by offering Christmas gifts. For Jim, the husband, it was difficult to make both ends meet, and a nice Christmas gift for his wife would be a luxury he could not afford. The wife on the other hand, could not save enough money from her household expenses to buy her beloved husband a worthy Christmas gift.
So the couple tried to solve the problem of money in their own, rather queer ways. Della finally discovered that she had beautiful long hair which could be sold as material for wig. So she collected a good sum at the cost of uglified looks like a truant school boy with bobbed hair. After a long search she chose a beautiful platinum fob chain which would match with her husband's rare gold watch. Though exceedingly happy to be able to offer a nice gift to her husband, Della was unhappy to have lost her hair and feared Jim would be offended by her rash decision. The loving husband, on the other hand, made a similar foolish mistake be selling his treasured gold watch to buy a tortoise shell comb, as coveted by Della for long. As the couple began to exchange their most " useless" gifts, they realized the depth of their love fdor each other. O. Henry compares such unselfish love with the love of the three Magi who visited baby Christ with the rare gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
The gifts were useless for the moment, but they reveal the intensity and genuineness of the feeling which the couple bore towards each other. Such love is the greatest gift on earth. The Magi's gifts were not prompted by any consideration: so were the gifts of the "magi' of our time. In their acts lies self-sacrifice and concern for others.
Posted by dnguha on October 5, 2011 at 5:21 PM (Answer #1)
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