Della compares the watch chain to Jim: "Quietness and value—the description applied to both."  Please look below for the question.Does this description apply to Jim when he enters the flat?...

Della compares the watch chain to Jim: "Quietness and value—the description applied to both."  Please look below for the question.

Does this description apply to Jim when he enters the flat? Why?  I don't get the question either ;P

Asked on by keziann

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pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

So the narrator is saying that Jim is like the watch -- quiet and valuable.  And the question is asking if you agree that those two words apply to Jim, especially from Della's point of view.

In the story, Jim does not really say much and he is not a very demonstrative man.  When he comes in and sees Della's hair is gone he doesn't freak out.  When he figures out what they have done, he doesn't get excited.  So yes, I'd say he's quiet.

Is he valuable.  I think he likely is.  He figures out that Della is upset and he acts in just the right way.  He lets her know he still loves her and that he's not in any way angry.  I would imagine that was the perfect reaction for a situation that could have been very bad.

Does that make sense?

coachingcorner's profile pic

coachingcorner | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted on

In the short story 'The Gift of the Magi' by O Henry, the author is trying to show us the true gift that the couple (and hopefully,most of us) have - each other. Jim seems to be already partly aware of that, the 'gift' Della tries to give him and the consequences confirm this understanding for him. Instead of shouting loudly and asking how she could be so silly because now she has no hair for the beautiful combs, he intuitively understands that she did it out of her own gift (her love for him.) So, although sorrowful about their loss of her beautiful tresses of hair, he is grateful for 'the thought that counts' and besides, hair grows. You can't invent love however - and that he  has already and is valuable in it's own quiet way. Jim is valuable, and so is Della - each to the other, with or without gifts.

keziann's profile pic

keziann | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

Thank you :)
I meant to rate you a 5 ;P
sorry.
I get it now.

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