The Gift of the Magi Questions and Answers

The Gift of the Magi

In the final paragraph of "The Gift of the Magi," O. Henry refers to the original magi, the three wise men who "invented the art of giving Christmas presents." He contrasts the wisdom of these...

Latest answer posted April 10, 2021, 10:42 am (UTC)

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The Gift of the Magi

One of the moral lessons of "The Gift of the Magi" is that we often don't value what we truly should. Jim loves Della, her hair included, and he doesn't need a fancy watch chain for Christmas to...

Latest answer posted July 31, 2016, 4:19 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

Most people are aware of the expression “It's the thought that counts,” meaning that it's not what you give that matters but the thought behind it. And this longstanding truism undoubtedly...

Latest answer posted December 10, 2020, 10:35 am (UTC)

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The Gift of the Magi

Sacrifice and love are two key elements of "The Gift of the Magi." They learn these two lessons both as givers and receivers. Each gave up something valuable out of love for someone else, and...

Latest answer posted October 31, 2010, 4:40 pm (UTC)

5 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

O. Henry uses a variety of literary devices throughout his classic short story "The Gift of the Magi," first published in 1905, which has been adapted into many films—as early as 1909—and into...

Latest answer posted September 27, 2020, 3:28 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Gift of the Magi

Exposition: The narrator speaks directly to the reader and we learn within the first few paragraphs that the story will be about a young couple that has fallen on hard times. In fact, the very...

Latest answer posted March 22, 2020, 4:24 am (UTC)

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The Gift of the Magi

The story takes place in New York during the Christmas holiday season. Della and Jim, the couple who are the main characters in the short story, live in a tiny but well-kept apartment. It is...

Latest answer posted October 17, 2017, 1:19 am (UTC)

5 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

In "The Gift of the Magi," Jim and Della prove their amazing love one for the other. Della desires to buy Jim a platinum chain for his golden watch. Jim's watch is an heirloom, passed down to him...

Latest answer posted June 22, 2012, 5:46 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

Figurative language is a general term which covers the use of metaphor, simile, and other literary techniques that help the reader to picture the events and mood of a story better through the use...

Latest answer posted January 29, 2021, 11:04 am (UTC)

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The Gift of the Magi

The situational irony in "The Gift of the Magi" is that both Jim and Della sacrifice their most prized possessions for an object which is rendered useless by the sacrifice of the other. Della sells...

Latest answer posted December 19, 2020, 10:48 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

In O. Henry's classic short story "The Gift of the Magi," Della is the protagonist, and her primary conflict is that she does not have enough money to purchase Jim a worthy Christmas present. Jim...

Latest answer posted September 28, 2020, 12:41 pm (UTC)

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The Gift of the Magi

"The Gift of the Magi" is filled with symbols of material poverty and wealth. The symbols of poverty include the "letter-box into which no letter would go" and the "electric button from which no...

Latest answer posted December 25, 2020, 11:02 am (UTC)

6 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

A work of literature can be diagrammed in terms of five elements: exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution. The story hinges on being told from Della's point of view....

Latest answer posted November 15, 2019, 1:57 pm (UTC)

4 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

In "The Gift of the Magi," Jim and Della are representative of the Magi. The Magi are the three kings that visited the Christ child and gave the ultimate gifts as far as giving is concerned. Jim...

Latest answer posted June 3, 2012, 7:46 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Gift of the Magi

“The Gift of the Magi” relates to today’s society because although watch fobs and hair combs may be less common than they once were, the desire for unconditional love is not. In today's society, we...

Latest answer posted February 25, 2021, 10:49 am (UTC)

6 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

Jim’s most valued possession was his watch, and Della’s was her hair. Jim and Della were a young couple who loved each other very much, but were not wealthy. What they did have they valued highly....

Latest answer posted October 18, 2015, 10:56 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Gift of the Magi

Della buys Jim a watch fob because his watch is his most prized possession. Della and Jim Young do not have much money. Despite this, Della really wants to buy Jim a good Christmas present. She is...

Latest answer posted June 13, 2016, 7:55 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Gift of the Magi

The original magi are the three kings, also called the wise men, who brought gifts to the baby Jesus just after he was born. They brought him gold, frankincense, and myrrh because these were...

Latest answer posted February 18, 2018, 9:08 pm (UTC)

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The Gift of the Magi

The message of this short story is that love is the most important gift that two people can ever give to one another. By deciding to sell her treasured hair so that she would have the money to buy...

Latest answer posted November 21, 2018, 8:21 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

O. Henry draws an analogy between his story of Jim and Della and the story of the Magi in the New Testament. Both stories take place at Christmas time. In fact, Christmas begins with the birth of...

Latest answer posted June 26, 2014, 11:43 pm (UTC)

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The Gift of the Magi

When Jim walks through the door, he possesses an unreadable expression that utterly terrifies his tremulous wife. It was not anger, nor surprise, nor disapproval, nor horror, nor any of the...

Latest answer posted December 26, 2017, 9:49 pm (UTC)

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The Gift of the Magi

For most of the story, the narrative perspective is told from the third person omniscient perspective. The narrator is telling a story about two people. The narrator is not a part of the story,...

Latest answer posted August 14, 2016, 4:29 pm (UTC)

5 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

The Magi referenced in O. Henry's short story are the three Wise Men who brought gifts of frankincense, gold, and myrrh to the infant Jesus in the Biblical tale; this was a risky gesture, as it...

Latest answer posted February 27, 2017, 2:12 am (UTC)

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The Gift of the Magi

Imagery is used in “The Gift of the Magi” to add humor and description to the story, so that we feel like we are there with the young couple. Imagery is descriptive language that creates a picture...

Latest answer posted October 11, 2012, 8:22 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Gift of the Magi

Writers use allusions within a story to reference something that exists outside the text itself. Allusions can invoke a wide range of subjects: they can draw from history, culture, or other works...

Latest answer posted February 17, 2020, 6:17 am (UTC)

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The Gift of the Magi

That Jim and Della are simple working class people is revealed in Della's speech: ""Cut it off and sold it," said Della. "Don't you like me just as well, anyhow? I'm me without my hair, ain't I?"...

Latest answer posted December 26, 2012, 6:15 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Gift of the Magi

The main idea in O. Henry's "The Gift of the Magi" is in the idea that the value of a gift comes not in its actual cost, but from giving from the heart. While the narrator of the story calls Jim...

Latest answer posted December 28, 2015, 6:04 am (UTC)

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The Gift of the Magi

Alliteration can be defined as the occurrence of the same letter or sound at the beginning of adjacent or closely connected words. A classic example would be the famous tongue-twister "She sells...

Latest answer posted December 17, 2019, 9:48 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Gift of the Magi

Jim's gift was indeed suitable. It was a set of combs for Della's hair, of which she was extremely proud. The love displayed in this work is evident from the outset. Both Jim and Della's...

Latest answer posted August 6, 2015, 9:54 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

"The Gift of the Magi" centers on a young married couple, Della and Jim. They are the main characters of the short story. Della is warm and selfless, and Jim struggles to make ends meet for him and...

Latest answer posted September 27, 2020, 11:46 am (UTC)

3 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

O. Henry ends "The Gift of the Magi" with a paradox. Jim and Della are foolish because they each sold their most valuable possession to buy a gift that turned out to be useless. From a material...

Latest answer posted September 27, 2020, 11:09 am (UTC)

4 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

O. Henry uses several intriguing metaphors and similes in "The Gift of the Magi," and he uses a little personification. With two intriguing metaphors he compares Della's long hair to the Queen of...

Latest answer posted September 21, 2016, 11:54 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

Della is a loving wife. She is beautiful and her hair is a prized possession. She is frugal and saves every penny she can when buying groceries. She desires to please her husband... She lets down...

Latest answer posted June 11, 2011, 11:50 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Gift of the Magi

O. Henry is using the wildest hyperbole to describe how Della and Jim valued their family treasures: her beautiful long hair and his gold watch. The references to the Queen of Sheba and King...

Latest answer posted January 9, 2016, 6:42 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Gift of the Magi

The writer calls Della and Jim foolish and wise at the same time in “The Gift of the Magi” because, although they were foolish in giving each other useless gifts, they were also motivated by love,...

Latest answer posted November 18, 2020, 10:35 am (UTC)

6 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

The story of "The Gift of the Magi" is one of unrelenting love and sacrifice. Delia and Jim are dealing with hard times, and neither has any money to celebrate their love for each other at...

Latest answer posted June 29, 2009, 8:46 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Gift of the Magi

The irony of the ending of "The Gift of the Magi" is the fact that both Della and Jim unselfishly sacrificed their most prized possessions in order to purchase gifts that the other would be...

Latest answer posted September 10, 2016, 11:54 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Gift of the Magi

The narrator means that the couple in the story, Jim and Della, live in near squalor. They pay $8 a week for a "furnished flat," meaning an apartment that comes with furniture (this arrangement was...

Latest answer posted December 31, 2016, 12:13 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

"The Gift of the Magi" is told through the eyes of Della. She is characterized as a caring person who dearly loves her husband Jim. She has been saving for a Christmas gift for him for a long time,...

Latest answer posted February 12, 2019, 12:49 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Gift of the Magi

This is Della's story and is told entirely from her point of view. She has a problem. She wants to buy her husband a nice Christmas present but she has only managed to save a dollar and...

Latest answer posted January 5, 2015, 11:30 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

Jim and Della are a young couple who have recently had a downturn in their financial fortunes. Jim's income has been cut by a third, from thirty to twenty dollars a week. As a result, the two have...

Latest answer posted February 9, 2021, 10:43 am (UTC)

4 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

Tone in a literary work, shows the author's attitudes toward the subject and toward the audience. The tone can take on a variety of styles and may be formal, informal, sad, depressed, happy,...

Latest answer posted December 13, 2015, 6:25 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

In O. Henry's famous short story "The Gift of the Magi," Della and Jim are depicted as living in poverty to the point that they have little to no disposable income. This is why O. Henry places so...

Latest answer posted March 19, 2021, 9:02 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

There was clearly nothing to do but flop down on the shabby little couch and howl. So Della did it. Which instigates the moral reflection that life is made up of sobs, sniffles, and smiles, with...

Latest answer posted April 9, 2015, 11:43 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

Paragraph five of "The Gift of the Magi" evokes the connotation between long names and the upper echelons of society. That is, royalty, professionals, and those belonging to the "upper classes"...

Latest answer posted December 6, 2017, 12:20 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Gift of the Magi

Della possesses just $1.87 at the beginning of the story from prudently spending money, haggling for the best prices at the grocers and butchers, and frugally saving her exact change after...

Latest answer posted July 3, 2019, 1:51 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

In the very last few lines of the story, the narrator justifies the title: Of all who give gifts, these two were the most wise. Of all who give and receive gifts, such as they are the most wise....

Latest answer posted August 20, 2017, 6:06 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

Della saves money by squirreling away a few pennies here and there, wherever and whenever she can manage. The narrator tells us that she's [...] saved one and two at a time by bulldozing the...

Latest answer posted October 14, 2018, 11:49 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

There are four major types of conflict in a story: character versus self, character versus character, character versus society, and character versus nature. In this story, one might argue that the...

Latest answer posted August 15, 2018, 5:01 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

The perfect couple—O. Henry created a real love story with a twist in “The Gift of the Magi.” The setting is New York City in the early 1900s. The Young apartment is the specific setting. Finding...

Latest answer posted December 31, 2012, 3:45 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

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