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What is the resolution of the "Gift of the Magi?"

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alix777 | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted December 20, 2011 at 11:49 AM via web

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What is the resolution of the "Gift of the Magi?"

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readerofbooks | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted December 20, 2011 at 12:07 PM (Answer #1)

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This a great question. The resolution of the short story, "Gift of the Magi," is when both main characters learn that the greatest gift is to give what they possess to one another in view of love. It is the paradox of getting when giving. Let me explain.

In the story, the two main characters sell their most prized possessions to give to each other something for Christmas. Della cuts and sells her hair to buy Jim, her husband, a chain for his watch. Jim sells his watch to buy Della combs for her hair. In light of this, they both seek to outdo one another in love.

As you can tell, in the end both have gifts that they cannot use. Della does not need combs and Jim no longer needs a chain for his watch. However, O. Henry calls them wise, because they love sacrificially.

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