What are the consequences in the story "The Gift of the Magi"?

Expert Answers
mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the inspiring and edifying story, "The Gift of the Magi," the material consequences of the actions of the "two foolish children" as O.Henry calls them in his office of narrator, are the fact that Della and Jim have no practical use for the presents that they have bought each other for Christmas. But, more importantly, the spiritual consequence of their supreme sacrifices is that in more than any other way, this young, loving husband and wife have affirmed their magnanimity and unselfish love for one another. Indeed, what greater gift can this gift of love be?

That the narrator judges their acts of love to be exemplary and superlative is indicated in his defining statement of crediting them with being the "wisest" of all who give gifts: ....such as they are the wisest." For, they understand that spousal love is far more important than any material gift.