Questions and Answers for The Gift of the Magi

The Gift of the Magi

The vestibule refers to the lobby of an apartment building where the mailboxes might be, as well as the electric doorbells to alert the occupants of a particular apartment that they have a guest....

Latest answer posted October 11, 2018 12:58 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

I have to agree with post #9 that Jim's gift is greater, since he sold his watch and may never be able to own such a fine watch again. Also it was a family heirloom, which makes the loss more...

Latest answer posted August 8, 2012 10:24 pm UTC

7 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

The passage refers to the fact that the pier-glass mirror is a long, narrow strip of mirror placed between the windows. This particular one must have been particularly narrow. Della is a thin...

Latest answer posted February 21, 2008 5:02 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Gift of the Magi

It is ironic when Della sells her hair to buy Jim a gift for his watch, but he can’t use the gift because he sold his watch. Situational irony occurs in a story when the opposite of what you expect...

Latest answer posted January 29, 2016 4:45 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Gift of the Magi

"...These are the wisest," O. Henry says at the short story's end; "They are the magi." He is referring here to Jim and Della, who were wise enough to see past themselves and...

Latest answer posted December 30, 2008 2:36 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

O. Henry describes the couple's prized possessions early in the story. Now, there were two possessions of the James Dillingham Youngs in which they both took a mighty pride. One was Jim's gold...

Latest answer posted October 11, 2013 10:51 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Gift of the Magi

Della and James (Jim) Dillingham Young are a young married couple who, despite their tough financial situation, live in great harmony. The love that they feel for one another is so great, that they...

Latest answer posted December 8, 2020 6:57 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Gift of the Magi

With the theme of O. Henry's "The Gift of the Magi" being that love supercedes materialism, that is, the spiritual gift of love is far more important than any material object, much of the written...

Latest answer posted May 30, 2011 6:45 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Gift of the Magi

Initial plot problem is thoroughly spelled out by the narrator. Della wants to buy her husband a special Christmas present but she has only managed to save $1.87. One dollar and eighty-seven...

Latest answer posted February 2, 2015 4:02 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

While the setting of O. Henry’s short story “The Gift of the Magi” isn’t explicitly stated, clues and the tone of the story lead us to believe the story takes place in New York City. The story...

Latest answer posted October 21, 2019 10:42 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

In order to develop an introductory sentence for an essay, you need to clarify what your paper will be about. If you are unsure, consider the story itself. The story is about a husband and wife,...

Latest answer posted April 25, 2016 8:24 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Gift of the Magi

O. Henry's short story "The Gift of the Magi" is among the simplest and most elegant short stories in American literature. The surprise ending was one of O. Henry's favorite literary devices....

Latest answer posted January 19, 2016 7:41 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Gift of the Magi

The name "Dillingham" has money and upper-class connotations. Jim's last name is Young. The "Dillingham" must have been a sort of tribute to Jim's grandfather, who was evidently an important man,...

Latest answer posted December 21, 2015 5:45 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Gift of the Magi

Jim frightens Della because she can't understand his expression as he sees her short hair. We are told, His eyes were fixed upon Della, and there was an expression in them that she could not read,...

Latest answer posted September 28, 2018 2:30 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

The sentence is used to accentuate the unfortunate circumstances of Della and Jim's situation. They were, essentially, almost penniless and had been forced to live in utterly drab and dreary...

Latest answer posted November 22, 2016 1:20 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

The entire sentence in question in O. Henry's story is: Pennies saved one and two at a time by bulldozing the grocer and the vegetable man and the butcher until one's cheeks burned with the silent...

Latest answer posted September 20, 2016 11:04 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Gift of the Magi

The middle name Dillingham plus the fact that Jim inherited his gold watch from his father who had inherited it from Jim's maternal grandfather suggest that Jim comes from a social class superior...

Latest answer posted April 4, 2016 6:45 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

Situational irony occurs when there is something unexpected in a situation, typically when something happens that one does not expect. One quotation that illustrates such a situation occurs when...

Latest answer posted January 24, 2018 1:45 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

The title's appropriate for a number of reasons. First of all, it's coming up to Christmas as the story begins, and Jim and Della want to give each other gifts as an expression of their mutual...

Latest answer posted October 9, 2018 11:45 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

Della needed the money to buy her husband Jim a Christmas Present. Della and Jim are like many young couples: deeply in love, but completely broke. Throughout the year Della scrapes by, but on...

Latest answer posted March 8, 2016 3:27 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Gift of the Magi

Irony is when events turn out the opposite of what is planned. In this story, newlyweds Della and Jim plan an amazing Christmas gift for each other. Both also make a big sacrifice to get the gift...

Latest answer posted March 31, 2019 8:13 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

Many would argue that they were incredibly foolish to give up that which was most precious to them. Delia loved her hair and it was renowned as being quite beautiful. Jim was very proud of his...

Latest answer posted April 16, 2010 8:10 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Gift of the Magi

The effect is to give readers an oxymoronic happy sadness all at the same time. It makes the reader sad to know that Jim has sold his watch to afford the combs for Della's hair, while knowing that...

Latest answer posted July 20, 2015 7:42 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Gift of the Magi

Della experiences a character vs. self conflict in regards to her Christmas gift for her husband, Jim. She looks at herself in the mirror while taking down her hair, And then she put it up on her...

Latest answer posted October 16, 2017 4:54 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

And here I have lamely related to the uneventful chronicle of two foolish children in a flat who most unwisely sacrificed for each other the greatest treasures of their house. But in a last word...

Latest answer posted March 13, 2010 2:34 am UTC

3 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

The reader can appreciate the transformation in Della's appearance because O. Henry devoted so many words to describing the abundance and beauty of her hair before Madame Sofronie hacked it all...

Latest answer posted November 1, 2015 1:27 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Gift of the Magi

O'Henry makes the following allusion to the Queen of Sheba in the story: Had the Queen of Sheba lived in the flat across the airshaft, Della would have let her hair hang out of the window some day...

Latest answer posted October 28, 2019 1:29 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Gift of the Magi

In The Gift of the Magi, Della and Jim Young live in a furnished apartment, which they pay $8 a week in rent for. When Della "flop[s] down on the shabby little couch" at the beginning of the...

Latest answer posted December 2, 2015 5:09 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Gift of the Magi

One could argue that Jim and Della Young are flat characters. Round characters are complex, and they would take many, many sentences to fully describe. Flat characters, however, are relatively...

Latest answer posted June 26, 2016 6:13 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

O. Henry did not allude to the historical period which was the setting of his short stories directly because many of the relationships of characters are timeless; in addition, none of the external...

Latest answer posted September 6, 2011 5:23 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Gift of the Magi

This famous piece first falls into the genre of the short story. Because of its structure, the short story exists in its own fictional genre. It is designed to be read in one sitting. The...

Latest answer posted September 14, 2008 10:16 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Gift of the Magi

In O. Henry's poignant story, "The Gift of the Magi," after Della whirls from the window and stands before the pier glass in hers and Jim's flat, she makes the rather rash decision to sell her hair...

Latest answer posted July 9, 2011 12:03 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Gift of the Magi

I'd be absolutely delighted by Jim's gift. It would show how incredibly kind and considerate he is, and how he's always thinking of me. Although the gift may be technically useless now I've shaved...

Latest answer posted March 9, 2018 7:56 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

Della's hair symbolizes her youth and beauty, and as she and her beloved husband are very poor, it also symbolizes her most valuable possession. Since it reaches below her knees, she must have...

Latest answer posted September 27, 2020 11:20 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Gift of the Magi

Della wants to buy her husband Jim a nice Christmas present but has only managed to save $1.87 by scrimping all year. The author does not specify what kind of present she has in mind until after...

Latest answer posted September 26, 2015 12:45 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Gift of the Magi

I would say that Della's major conflict is actually of the character vs. character variety. She worries a great deal about what her husband, Jim, will think of her once all her beautiful hair is...

Latest answer posted December 23, 2018 1:20 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

O. Henry's classic story "The Gift of the Magi" is about love and giving. Since the story is told from the point of view of Della, the reader knows more about what Della went through to give her...

Latest answer posted December 12, 2012 10:40 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Gift of the Magi

Della and Jim are compared to the Magi at the very end of this richly ironic story. Although they have traded their most precious possessions to buy a gift for the other that is, in a sense,...

Latest answer posted May 22, 2011 7:44 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Gift of the Magi

This is a particularly astute question to ask about this short story, because I actually believe we cannot use traditional terms to analyse the characters. In most tales, there is a clearly defined...

Latest answer posted January 20, 2012 4:11 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Gift of the Magi

Della impetuously sells her beautiful long hair in order to raise enough money to buy her husband a Christmas present. Then when she buys the present, a platinum watch fob, and gets back home, she...

Latest answer posted March 7, 2016 6:10 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Gift of the Magi

A static character is one who does not change his or her mind or opinion throughout a story. A dynamic one does. Characters usually undergo a dynamic change when they learn a lesson that...

Latest answer posted July 8, 2016 8:41 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Gift of the Magi

The most notable example of irony in "The Gift of the Magi" is situational irony. This is a literary device whereby there's a gap between what's expected to happen and what actually does happen. In...

Latest answer posted March 19, 2019 5:54 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

I agree with others - I didn't feel "tricked" the first time I read the story. In fact, I think O. Henry is asking us a serious question through his final paragraph of the tale - although some may...

Latest answer posted November 29, 2010 3:39 pm UTC

5 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

Della looks at her hair with brilliantly shining eyes because it has just occurred to her that she could sell it to buy an expensive Christmas gift for Jim. Just before she glimpses it in the...

Latest answer posted September 11, 2018 3:28 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Gift of the Magi

Della had exactly $1.87 to start with -- at the beginning of the story. We do not know exactly what she has in mind -- in fact we do not know for sure if she had any particular thing in mind at...

Latest answer posted April 18, 2010 8:07 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Gift of the Magi

This question is asking about setting. The general time of the story is December 24th. Readers are told in the first paragraph that the next day would be Christmas, and that is why Della is so...

Latest answer posted April 15, 2019 12:51 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

"The Gift of the Magi," by O. Henry, is a short story about a poor young couple who teaches us all the definition of irony. The story opens on Christmas Eve, as Della Young desperately ponders what...

Latest answer posted October 6, 2019 3:43 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Gift of the Magi

O'Henry starts his story off with a sentence fragment: ONE dollar and eighty-seven cents. He then follows with two very short sentences and then a long sentence: That was all. And sixty cents of...

Latest answer posted March 25, 2019 1:46 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Gift of the Magi

This is a good question. From the details of the short story, we can say a few things about Della and Jim. Della was a frugal, careful, responsible person. We know this, because she saved every...

Latest answer posted December 16, 2011 6:15 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Gift of the Magi

The two main characters in "The Gift of the Magi" are Jim and Della Young, a young married couple without much money. Ironically, Della sells her hair to buy a watch chain for Jim's watch, and Jim...

Latest answer posted October 25, 2018 4:20 pm UTC

2 educator answers

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