What was the intention of O.Henry behind mentioning the card bearing name Mr. James Dillingham Young in "The Gift of the Magi."
Mr. and Mrs. James Dillingham Young had fallen upon hard times by the time they reached the point in their married life described in The Gift of the Magi. That very dignified name was fitting and appropriate to their situation at one time, but it did not apply to the conditions in which they found themselves. While struggling to maintain themselves and their lifestyle as best as they could, they were forced to give up many of the refinements and luxuries of their past, more financially secure existence. Things like pocket watches and hair combs and dignified middle names were discarded.