How does "The Gift of the Magi" show that fate sometimes seems to use our own actions to upset our most cherished plans?

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stolperia eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Della's most cherished desire is to purchase a Christmas present for Jim that is "just a little bit near to being worthy of the honour of being owned by Jim." She has endeavored to save her extra money for this purchase but has not been able to raise an adequate amount. She solves the dilemna by selling her beautiful long hair and using the proceeds to purchase a platinum chain and fob for Jim's treasured family heirloom pocket watch.

Jim, in his mission to purchase something that will represent his love for Della, has sold the watch in order to have the funds to purchase an exquisite set of tortoise shell hair combs that Della has longed to be able to wear in her fabulous knee-length hair.

Each unknowingly sold the possession that was to be complimented and highlighted by the present purchased by the other, upsetting the secret plans to demonstrate depth of love through recognition of the material item most treasured by the recipient. Their fate, at that point in their lives, was to give each other deep and abiding love, unadorned by material things.

iqratariq | Student

fate plays very important role in our lives. sometimes what we want to achieve we cannot achieve just because it is not written in our fate. this happens to every man on earth so with jim and della. della wants to buy an expensive gift for her husband but her fate could not allow her. she then again becomes the victim of her fate when she sells her precious hair though she does not want to. jim too is the victim of fate because he sells his precious watch to buy a gift fr della. at the end fate seems cruel when we come to know that both cannot use their gifts. so they do according to their own plans and then fate upsets their lives.

ramlakshmi | Student

It is generally believed that fate plays a serious role in our lives and its actions tend to be sombre , decisive and far-reaching . Minor changes or losses in life are not attributed to fate.For example, one doesn't say that he has lost his pair of glasses due to his fate. Extending the comparison to the situation in the story 'The Gift..', it may not be apt to say that fate wrecked the cherished plans of Jim and Della.It is just  miscalculation, rather an underestimation of their love for each other.

Even if it is conceded that it is fate which has upset their cherished plans, due credit must be given to it for having helped them to understand clearly the depth of love they have for each other.Viewed from this angle, fate   seems to have pleased them in a very big way in comparison of which the upset is an amusing trifle.

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The Gift of the Magi

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