The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry

The Gift of the Magi book cover
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Discuss the symbolism in "The Gifts of the Magi" by O. Henry.

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O. Henry is considered one of the great short story writers today.  His stories were optimistic, humorous, and best known for the twists at the end. 

The Gift of the Magi,” published in 1905, has found its place in the classic list of short stories.  Its memorable lovers and their Christmas gifts find a place in any reader’s heart.

Giving the perfect present is something everyone would like to find for his/her loved ones.  There are so many questions involved with that present: how much? Do they need it? Do they want it? Does it cost too much? Is it worth it?

The story is narrated by a third person limited omniscient point of view.  The entire story basically belongs to Della.  Although Jim does engage with Della, the thoughts and action circulate around her character. At times, the narrator becomes a separate entity without including Della or Jim’s point of view at all.

Symbolically, the poverty that the couple lives in is emphasized almost with every paragraph.  In...

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