Questions and Answers for The Gift of the Magi

The Gift of the Magi

What is the theme of the story "The Gift of the Magi" by O. Henry?

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

4 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

What is the significance of the title of O'Henry's story "The Gift of the Magi"?

The title does allude to the three wise men from the Bible, kings that come from far away to bring the Christ child gold, frankincense, and myrrh: expensive and precious gifts to honor him....

Latest answer posted November 3, 2017 11:29 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

Describe the situational irony in "The Gift of the Magi," and tell what lesson about life and love you think it...

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

What examples of figurative language are in the story "The Gift of the Magi?"

An excellent example of O. Henry's figurative language in "The Gift of the Magi" can be found in the paragraph in which the author describes Della's pride in her beautiful hair and Jim's pride in...

Latest answer posted October 30, 2014 6:40 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Gift of the Magi

What is the setting of "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

4 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

What is the symbolism in "The Gift of the Magi" by O. Henry?

"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

5 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

What is the exposition, rising/falling action, climax, and resolution of "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

4 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

In "The Gift of the Magi," what is the moral lesson of the story?

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

What are some examples of Imagery in "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

Allusion In 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

4 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

What is the main conflict in "The Gift of the Magi"?

Jim's problem should not be included as part of the main conflict in "The Gift of the Magi." Della is the protagonist and the viewpoint character. It is her story from beginning to end. Her...

Latest answer posted April 6, 2015 9:25 pm UTC

6 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

What is the plot diagram for "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

What is the point of view in "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

3 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

What is the tone in the story "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

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The Gift of the Magi

Are there any metaphors, similes, or personification in O. Henry's "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

Describe the characteristics of Jim and Della in the story ''The Gift of Magi'' by O. Henry.

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

How does Jim react when he first sees Della after she has cut her hair in O. Henry's short story "The Gift of the...

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

In "The Gift of the Magi," how did Jim and Della prove their love for each other by their foolish acts?

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

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The Gift of the Magi

What lesson about life and love do you think Della and Jim learn?

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

What literary device is used in "The Gift of the Magi"?

O. Henry uses a variety of literary devises 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

What are two notable sentences featuring alliteration in "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

In "The Gift of the Magi,", what are the two possessions that Jim and Della take a lot of pride in?

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

What is the irony at the end of "The Gift of 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

Why were gifts given by Della and Jim considered wise in "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

2 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

In "The Gift of the Magi," how are Jim and Della the Magi in this story?

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

Why does the narrator compare Della and Jim to the Magi in "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

2 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

What gift did Della buy for Jim and why in "The Gift of the Magi" by O. Henry?

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

 What is the purpose of paragraph 5’s discussion of the name “Dillingham”?  

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

What was Jim's gift to Della? Was it a suitable gift?

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

Why does the author make reference to the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon?

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

Is there any foreshadowing in "The Gift of the Magi"?

All the narrator's talk about how valuable Della's hair is to her, especially after her eyes begin to shine brightly and her face goes pale, seems to foreshadow that Della will sell her hair to buy...

Latest answer posted October 11, 2016 11:44 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

How would you describe Jim and Della's relationship in "The Gift of the Magi"?  

There is no evidence in the text to suggest that the relationship between Jim and Della, in O. Henry's short story "The Gift of the Magi," is anything but an ardent love between two very devoted...

Latest answer posted February 8, 2016 11:03 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Gift of the Magi

What is the climax of the story "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

What instigates the moral reflection that "life is made up of sobs/smiles with sniffles" in "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

In "The Gift of the Magi", how much money does Della get for her hair and what does she get Jim?

After Della realizes that she only has 1.87 to buy her husband a gift, she sits down and cries. Then she gets an idea, she decides to check out the idea of selling her beautiful long hair. Della...

Latest answer posted August 20, 2009 6:37 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Gift of the Magi

What is the main idea of "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

2 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

What is the external conflict for the story "The Gift Of The Magi" by O. Henry?  

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

Discuss the characterization of Della in "The Gift of the Magi" by O. Henry.

"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

What is verbal and dramatic irony in the short story "The Gift of the Magi" by O. Henry?    Thank you.

Verbal irony is when a speaker intentionally says one thing but means something else. One example of verbal irony, somewhat of a stretch, is at the end when Jim says their presents are "too nice to...

Latest answer posted September 25, 2012 11:42 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Gift of the Magi

Why does the writer call Della and Jim foolish and wise at the same time in "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

4 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

Why are Jim and Della called magi in "The Gift of the Magi"?

I would argue that the characters in this heartwarming story are called magi because they are both givers of gifts, and this is the center of the story. The word "magi" is most widely known in...

Latest answer posted August 7, 2020 11:44 am UTC

3 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

How would the story be different if it were told from Jim's prespective? Why does O. Henry choose Della's...

Part of what makes this story by O. Henry work is the parallelism of the two characters as each tries to demonstrate his or her love to his or her spouse by giving the best possible Christmas...

Latest answer posted April 9, 2016 4:33 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Gift of the Magi

What is the plot of "The Gift of The Magi"?

O. Henry's The Gift of the Magi is a classic Christmas story that is often retold in television and movies. Della and Jim are a young, married couple who have little money to afford gifts but are...

Latest answer posted May 17, 2018 6:13 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

Irony In The Gift Of The Magi

Irony is a literary device that occurs when the author uses elements of the story, like plot or character development, setting, or action to show contrast or the opposite of what the characters or...

Latest answer posted March 4, 2012 1:54 am UTC

4 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

How does Della save money?

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

What is the message of "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

What does Della's action of cutting her hair to buy Jim a gift reveal about her character and her relationship with...

Della in "The Gift of the Magi" is a loving wife and a selfless person. The story starts by telling us that she has only $1.87 to buy a gift for Jim. She has spent much of her time scrimping and...

Latest answer posted May 5, 2019 7:47 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

What would be the direct and indirect characterization in "The Gift of the Magi"?

In "The Gift of the Magi," O. Henry utilizes both direct and indirect characterization to depict the lives and marriage of Della and Jim, as well as the nature of the relationship that they share....

Latest answer posted October 22, 2020 11:49 am UTC

4 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

 In the last paragraph O.Henry describes the magi, but why do you think he makes the allusion to the Magi in his...

The allusion to the Magi seems inappropriate at first to the reader. For, after all, the Magi (the Latinized form of the Greek word for magic) were a select sect of hereditary priesthood who had...

Latest answer posted June 15, 2009 5:28 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

How do the Magi relate to the meaning of the story "The Gift of the Magi" by O. Henry?

The allusion to the Magi of the Bible, extends to the idea that these men traveled from afar to be in the presence of the greatest gift of God to mankind, His only Son: For God so loved the world...

Latest answer posted July 16, 2010 12:01 pm UTC

2 educator answers

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