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What is the significance of the 'grey cat' mentioned in the story 'The Gift of Magi'?

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melonsmasher | Student, Grade 9 | Valedictorian

Posted November 20, 2012 at 11:05 PM via iOS

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What is the significance of the 'grey cat' mentioned in the story 'The Gift of Magi'?

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stolperia | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted November 21, 2012 at 12:09 AM (Answer #1)

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The grey cat reflects the surroundings, the neighborhood in which Jim and Della live - "a grey cat walking a grey fence in a grey backyard." O. Henry is painting a word picture of the environment, which is colorless and drab, and of their situation in life. Jim and Della don't have much in the way of color or excitement in their lives due to the financial state of their household. They live in a small and very inexpensive apartment, probably in a less-than-desirable location. Grey is the color that best describes much of their existence - not the black of complete hopelessness and despair, but no concrete reason to see anything better anytime soon.

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