What is the justification of "The Gift of the Magi"?  

Expert Answers
ajacks eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The story is about giving the ultimate gift, a perfect act of love that cannot be expressed any other way. The young couple in the story is very poor, but they both sacrifice the things they love the most: his gold watch and her long, beautiful hair, to get a gift for each other that they know is the perfect gift for each of them.

Unfortunately, the costs for these gifts are the very things that they are trying to surprise each other with.  She cuts off and sells her hair to buy him a new chain for his watch; he sells his watch to buy her combs for her long, beautiful hair. However, as the narrator says, just like the wise Magi who brought gifts to the baby Jesus, so was this couple wise in sacrificing their most precious possessions to give a gift from the heart.  “They were the magi,” and definitely justified in their gifts.


kstallworth | Student

Justification in The Gift of the Maji is that the act of giving, in and of itself, is the ultimate gift to the self.  It provides us with the ultimate sense of contentment in that it validates that, even the harsh world, we have within us goodness.  That message is paraleled with the story of the gifts brought by the Kings to the Christ Child and the proficy that the Son of God would bring with Him salvation for the world.