Give analysis of the major characters in the "Gift of Magi" by O. Henry?

1 Answer | Add Yours

readerofbooks's profile pic

readerofbooks | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

There are two major characters in the short story "The Gift of the Magi." The two main characters are a married couple, Jim and Della. 

In the opening paragraph we see that they are poor, as Della is counting her money and there is little, even though she saved all year long. She is counting money, because it is Christmas and she wants to buy something for her husband, Jim. After shedding tears, she decides to sell what is most precious to her, her hair. This shows that Della is extremely sacrificial and loving. She is willing to give of herself, no matter what the cost. 

As the story progresses, we see that Jim is no less sacrificial. He, too, has little money. So, he decides to sell his watch, his most prized possession to buy Della combs for her hair. 

In the end, both show sacrifice and love. They also show wisdom. This is one of O. Henry's main points. Wisdom is to give to others rather to seek for oneself. 

We’ve answered 318,917 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question