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The Gift of the Magi

by O. Henry
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What would be another possible title for "The Gift of the Magi"?

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Great question! When thinking about this kind of question, we need to remember that the title of short stories is always explicitly linked to the central theme of the stories concerned. In the case of "The Gift of the Magi ," we can see how the title relates to...

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Great question! When thinking about this kind of question, we need to remember that the title of short stories is always explicitly linked to the central theme of the stories concerned. In the case of "The Gift of the Magi," we can see how the title relates to the final paragraph of the story, when the narrator comments upon the original tradition of giving gifts at Christmas and how, even though some might say they were foolish, it is Jim and Della who most closely resemble the original intention of giving gifts and what it means in terms of sacrifice. This is of course one of the central themes, and I think it is particularly relevant in a time when we have so much and our lives are dominated by materialism. Whilst we do give a lot at Christmas, hardly any of that giving is sacrificial, and is rather an overflowing of what we already have. Perhaps then an alternative title could focus on this theme and meaning of the story by challenging us concerning our habits at Christmas. I am thinking of a title like "The Art of Sacrifice," or even something as simple as "Sacrificial Love." What do you think?

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