Is man verses society the main conflict of "The Gift of Magi"?  

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wannam eNotes educator| Certified Educator
Man verses society could be considered one of the conflicts in the story "The Gift of the Magi." Jim and Della have fallen on hard times financially. Jim's pay has been cut and they are having a hard time managing. Both characters wish to buy each other Christmas gifts. Society was telling them that they should buy each other gifts and that they should have more money. Eventually, they learn that society wasn't really right. All they needed was love after all. There could be arguments for the conflict being man verses self as well. Della and Jim struggle with their own wants and desires. They both want to keep the items they sell but they also want to provide for the partner they love.