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What is the main conflict "The Gift of the Magi"?

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iluvjesse1 | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 9, 2008 at 2:23 AM via web

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What is the main conflict "The Gift of the Magi"?

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pmiranda2857 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted November 9, 2008 at 2:38 AM (Answer #1)

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The main conflict in The Gift of the Magi is poverty.  Because of their poverty, Jim and Delia have to make great personal sacrifices to buy the other a Christmas present.

"In "The Gift of the Magi," O. Henry uses a folksy narrator to tell the story of Jim and Delia Young, a poor young couple who buy each other special Christmas gifts, which ironically cancel each other out because Delia sells her hair to buy Jim a chain for his watch, which he in turn has sold to buy her a fine set of combs for her hair. Despite the fact that these gifts are now useless, Jim and Delia have given each other the greatest gift of all, which the narrator compares to the gifts given to the Christ child by the wise men, or magi: selfless love."

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