what were the two possessions of Jim and Della in which they took pride

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teachsuccess | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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In The Gift Of The Magi, a married couple indulges in desperate schemes to afford nice Christmas presents for each other. In a comedy of errors, both Jim and Della sell their most prized possessions to bring their plans to fruition.

Della takes great pride in her beautiful hair, while Jim takes great pride in his gold watch. The narrator tells us that Della's hair is a 'cascade of brown waters,' while Jim's gold watch had belonged to his father and grandfather before him. Della goes to Madame Sofronie, who cuts off her beautiful tresses, and pays her twenty dollars for it. With the money, Della buys a platinum fob chain for Jim's gold watch. Meanwhile, Jim sells his own treasured gold watch to purchase jewel-rimmed, tortoise-shell hair combs for Della.

The narrator tells us that Jim and Della are as wise as the Magi, who bring precious gifts to the Christ after he is born. This is because both Jim and Della sell their most treasured possessions in order to purchase magnificent gifts for the other. Their collective selflessness is the precious gift.

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teachsuccess | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Good point about the proverb!

It's often difficult to teach great writing in a short period of time in the classroom. Combining teaching of the technical elements with modeling often helps cement student understanding and appreciation of good writing. To that end, I love the classical method of teaching, gleaned from the Renaissance masters! One of the ways students at the time learned was to copy the works of the masters.

Young artists also learned from copying celebrated works that could be seen in their own cities—Michelangelo, for example, copied paintings by Giotto in Florence’s church of Santa Croce—and they were encouraged to travel if they could, to Rome especially, to continue their visual education.

Don't get me wrong: the students did spend long periods of time mastering the technical elements. Teachers in the classroom today expend tireless efforts to teach the same things. Of course, students were supposed to give credit where it was due, just like today, in order to avoid charges of plagiarism.

Combined with the copying work, students eventually developed their own style. (the modeling of effective diction in eNotes Homework Help answers presents a very natural and organic process in helping students develop necessary skills).

I think this is a wonderful example of your proverb!

Sources:
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wordamy | eNotes Newbie

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Della took pride in her hair, and Jim took pride in his watch.

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elfr47 | Elementary School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

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While these may be correct answers to these questions.  Wouldn't you get more out of the book if you actually read the book and found the answers yourself?  Will you be able to go on a web-site to find the answer on a standardized test or a school test?  I would have told you what chapter or page to re-read instead of giving the answer.  Teach a man to fish he will eat for a life-time.  Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day.

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