The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry

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In "The Gift of the Magi," in what ways are Jim and Della foolish? In what ways are they wise? How is it possible for them to be both foolish and wise? O. Henry describes Jim and Della as “two...

In "The Gift of the Magi," in what ways are Jim and Della foolish? In what ways are they wise? How is it possible for them to be both foolish and wise?

O. Henry describes Jim and Della as “two foolish children” in “The Gift of the Magi.” He also describes them as “the wisest of all.”

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Jim and Della can be thought of as foolish because they both fell into the trap of focusing on the materialism that is associated with gift-giving at Christmastime. As a result, each needlessly sacrificed a cherished possession: Della, her beautiful hair, and Jim, his heirloom watch.

Jim and Della can be thought of as wise because they made a sacrifice for a person that they care about. Because Christmas is a religious holiday that is meant to observe the birth of an entity that made the ultimate personal sacrifice for humanity, their gestures seem in keeping with the spirit of the day.

It is possible to interpret the story's title as ironic in this way: the magi each brought the Christ child a gift: gold, frankincense and myrrh, but they are not particularly useful items for the infant. Similarly, the gifts that Jim and Della gave each other were thoughtful but irrelevant.

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Della was probably foolish in placing so much importance on giving her husband an expensive Christmas gift. She also...

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