What does Della plan in the story "The Gift of the Magi"?

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stolperia | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Della's problem in the story is raising the money she needs to purchase a suitable Christmas present for Jim.

The first step in her plan involves saving as much money as possible from the amount budgeted for household expenses. She manages to save $1.87 "by bulldozing the grocer and the vegetable man and the butcher until one's cheeks burned."  This amount, however, would never be adequate, and so she needs to develop another step to her savings plan.

This is accomplished as Della takes action to raise funds by selling the one possession she has that would be worth the appropriate amount of money - her hair. Della decides to sacrifice this fabulous asset in order to achieve the goal of raising money for Jim's present.

she did it up again...Once she faltered for a minute and stood still while a tear or two splashed...With a whirl of skirts and with the brilliant sparkle still in her eyes, she fluttered out the door and down the stairs...Will you buy my hair?


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