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"The Gift of the Magi" is set in a typical town. We are not given a specific time period in history, but it is clearly not modern day. Of course, we do know the time of year since the characters are struggling to purchase Christmas gifts. O'Henry gives a vivid description of the apartment where most of the story takes place (although this description is scattered throughout the story). The humor in the story is based on dramatic irony. We know more information than the characters. We know when Jim sells his watch to buy Della hair combs that she has sold her hair to buy him a watch fob. The finally irony in the story comes in the title and the last paragraph of the story. Magi are wise men, yet O'Henry compares these two seemingly unwise characters with Magi.
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