Questions and Answers for The Gift of the Magi

The Gift of the Magi

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

We know very little about Jim. He only appears towards the end of the story and is not given any physical description, although we can assume that he is young and good-looking enough to make Della...

Latest answer posted June 22, 2014 11:33 pm UTC

3 educator answers

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

Jim and Della love each. Readers know this because they tell each other that fact. "Maybe the hairs of my head could be counted,” she said, “but no one could ever count my love for you." . . ....

Latest answer posted December 14, 2017 12:15 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

In the beautiful short story "The Gift of the Magi" by O. Henry, sacrificial love is the main theme, and the author develops it masterfully. First, he introduces the couple Jim and Della Young. He...

Latest answer posted June 19, 2020 6:02 pm UTC

4 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

The surprise ending of "The Gift of the Magi" comes when Jim tells Della that he sold his watch in order to raise enough money to buy her a Christmas present, an expensive set of tortoise-shell...

Latest answer posted September 22, 2015 7:23 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Gift of the Magi

O. Henry primarily uses the phrase "tripped on by rosy wings" to describe the swift way in which the next two hours pass once Della is able to get the money that she needs to get a Christmas gift...

Latest answer posted May 5, 2015 7:23 pm UTC

2 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

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

2 educator answers

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

At the start of "The Gift of the Magi," Della has only saved $1.87 to buy her husband, Jim a Christmas gift, as they live frugally on a small income. Her husband owns a gold watch that is his most...

Latest answer posted December 18, 2016 1:50 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

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

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

The Gift of the Magi

"The Gift of the Magi" is a story about how 2 people love each other so much that they are willing to give up something very precious to them to see the other happy. They think that...

Latest answer posted December 2, 2008 10:30 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Gift of the Magi

The magi are also well-known as the Three Wise Men. According to the story of the magi, these men traveled far and long in order to find Jesus and give their gifts to Him. The gifts of gold,...

Latest answer posted November 15, 2013 4:02 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

Jim earns only twenty dollars a week, and their flat costs eight dollars a week. They must lead very quiet lives. But, at this point in their young married lives at least, they are still very much...

Latest answer posted December 4, 2015 7:59 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Gift of the Magi

Della and Jim are dirt-poor, so putting aside any money is virtually impossible. The only way they can swing it is through scrimping and saving, and that's what Della does. She has to scrimp on...

Latest answer posted November 27, 2018 7:14 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

This is a good question and a sharp observation. The narrator seems to be a worldly wise, kindly, philosophic, perceptive man who likes people. This man seems to be very much like O. Henry himself,...

Latest answer posted December 16, 2015 5:26 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Gift of the Magi

The resolution to "The Gift of the Magi" occurs when Jim tells his wife they should "put our Christmas gifts away and keep them a while. They’re too nice to use now." He says this because he, like...

Latest answer posted December 28, 2015 4:06 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

Another example of situational irony in the story is the name on the mailbox. When one hears a name such as "Mr. James Dillingham Young," one would likely be inclined to believe that this person...

Latest answer posted October 7, 2016 10:11 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

As the narrator explains at the end of "The Gift of the Magi," the Magi were the "wonderfully wise men" who brought gifts to the infant Jesus at his birth. Because of these gifts, the narrator...

Latest answer posted July 9, 2018 9:13 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

Della and Jim both sell something of great importance to themselves to buy the other a gift. The problem is that while Jim has bought Della hair combs for her beautiful long hair, Della has cut off...

Latest answer posted April 17, 2020 1:09 pm UTC

5 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

Jim and Della are an extremely poor couple, who both struggle to get their significant other the perfect Christmas present with the limited funds they have. Jim is infatuated with Della's...

Latest answer posted March 12, 2019 9:24 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

Della is the point-of-view character in "The Gift of the Magi." She and Jim have the same problems: each wants to buy the other a nice Christmas present, and neither of them has any money. But it...

Latest answer posted December 24, 2015 2:22 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Gift of the Magi

At the beginning of the story, Della counts out the money she has saved for Jim, a dollar and eighty-seven cents, including sixty pennies, three times. Three in the Bible is a symbol of...

Latest answer posted September 27, 2020 11:29 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Gift of the Magi

When Della presents Jim with his Christmas present--a platinum fob chain that "surely had been made for Jim and no one else"--he catches the reflection of Della's "bright and ardent spirit" in the...

Latest answer posted June 26, 2016 4:16 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

O. Henry carefully portrays both Della and Jim to be characters with whom the reader can identify and empathize. Della comes across as young and impetuous. Her bold and quick decision to cut her...

Latest answer posted September 30, 2012 3:19 pm 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

Initially, Della scrimps and saves pennies from their weekly shopping budget and is only able to collect $1.87. Dismayed that this is not enough for a proper Christmas gift for Jim, she turns to...

Latest answer posted October 24, 2017 3:43 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Gift of the Magi

This is a good question. Della has managed to save 1.87 by being frugal. She tried extremely hard to save every penny where she could. O. Henry writes these words: "That was all. And sixty cents of...

Latest answer posted July 9, 2012 3:15 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

It depends on which part of the story that you are referring to. Della is crying at the beginning of the story AND at the end of the story. In the beginning of the story, Della is crying out of...

Latest answer posted June 1, 2015 1:16 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Gift of the Magi

The most obvious use of hyperbole in "The Gift of the Magi" occurs when the narrator describes Della's and Jim's evaluations of their two treasures—her long, luxuriant hair and his gold watch. Had...

Latest answer posted July 5, 2016 6:14 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Gift of the Magi

In The Gift Of The Magi, the watch symbolizes heritage, character, and love. Heritage: Jim's gold watch has been worn by both his father and grandfather. It is an heirloom watch, passed down to...

Latest answer posted November 6, 2015 3:10 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Gift of the Magi

Exposition refers to the background information that authors sometimes provide, most often at the beginning of a story, so that readers can understand a bit more about the characters and their...

Latest answer posted December 14, 2017 1:16 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

The card on the mailbox associated with the flat of the couple in "The Gift of the Magi" is inscribed "James Dillingham Young." The young couple probably had the card made up right after they were...

Latest answer posted March 13, 2016 9:10 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

As related in O. Henry's "The Gift of the Magi," Jim and Della are very poor and don't have many fine possessions to their name. With Christmas approaching, Della is desperate to come up with more...

Latest answer posted June 29, 2012 6:16 am UTC

1 educator answer

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 O. Henry's day--the late 1800s and early 1900s--the only watches were pocket watches. These were expensive, and not all men had them. That is why there were so many public clocks on churches,...

Latest answer posted November 3, 2015 3:15 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Gift of the Magi

Della has just finished crying about the fact that she only has one dollar and eighty seven cents to purchase a Christmas gift for her beloved husband, Jim. She "flop[ped] down on the shabby...

Latest answer posted September 12, 2017 11:52 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

I agree with number 5 in part. I think a lack of communication might be part of the underlying problem, but more communication wouldn't have prevented their gift mix up. True, they were each...

Latest answer posted January 5, 2012 12:03 am UTC

4 educator answers

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

The original Magi, or wise men, who came to visit the Christ child shortly after his birth gave him costly gifts to express their love and devotion to him. This set the precedent of gift giving for...

Latest answer posted February 16, 2020 2:30 pm UTC

4 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

The pertinent passage reads: Also appertaining thereunto was a card bearing the name “Mr. James Dillingham Young.” The “Dillingham” had been flung to the breeze during a former period of...

Latest answer posted December 8, 2015 7:30 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Gift of the Magi

The pier-glass symbolizes Della’s delight in her hair, which she decides to give up out of love for her husband. Della and Jim are very poor. Della is upset because she can’t raise enough money to...

Latest answer posted March 26, 2016 4:15 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Gift of the Magi

There is a saying, "The most important things are not things." Truly, this saying is applicable to the characters of Della and Jim, who, though they possess few material things, are indeed rich in...

Latest answer posted August 25, 2011 2:21 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Gift of the Magi

There are many uses of figures of speech throughout O. Henry's short story "The Gift of the Magi." Let's take a look at a few examples: ALLUSION: Had the queen of Sheba lived in the flat across...

Latest answer posted July 24, 2016 3:57 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

A sentence that includes imagery and repetition is the following: On went her old brown jacket; on went her old brown hat. This sentence repeats the words "old brown" and includes the imagery of...

Latest answer posted December 28, 2017 1:31 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

When Jim returns home, he is astonished and shocked to discover that Della has cut off her beautiful hair. Jim is aware that his gift of combs will be useless for the time being because Della no...

Latest answer posted February 26, 2018 1:53 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

The true gift in the story is the sacrifice that Jim and Della are each willing to make for one another in order to purchase a gift worthy and beautiful enough to be owned by the other. The wise...

Latest answer posted December 25, 2018 4:47 pm UTC

2 educator answers

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