What is the exposition, rising action, climax, and falling action of O. Henry's story "The Gift of the Magi?"

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tinicraw | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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The exposition of O. Henry's short story "The Gift of the Magi" is found at the beginning with the sentence, "One dollar and eighty-seven cents." The first paragraph goes on to explain how such a little amount of money was obtained, but we don't know by whom until the second paragraph when Della is introduced. She is then described as well as the home in which she and her young husband live. The setting includes the home situation as well as how much Della's husband makes, which isn't much. Then, her hair is described along with Jim's watch, their two most prized possessions. The rising action starts when Della decides to cut and sell her hair in order for her to buy Jim a chain for his watch. The action further rises as Jim comes home to a short-haired wife and Della is worried that he'll not love her anymore. The climax ensues when Jim explains that he sold his watch for the gift of combs that he bought for Della. The falling action is when Jim reveals that he still loves his "girl" and they realize the irony of their situation.

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