Why does the author title the story "The Gift of the Magi"?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

"The Gift of the Magi" is a story in which a young couple excel in their giving one to another. The author compares their giving to the gifts the Magi gave to baby Jesus. The Three Wise men knew how to give. They gave unique gifts with special emphasis. Jim and Della have given special gifts one to the other. They gave the ultimate sacrifice. They gave their most prized possession. 

Truly, no other couple has been compared to The Three Wise Men and their giving of themselves. The author of "The Gift of the Magi" beautifully writes how Jim and Della pay the price by giving up valuable gifts to show their love for one another. 

No greater love is expressed than the love Jim and Della have for each other. Their gift giving displays the unselfish attitudes. Jim and Della care deeply and each one's gift giving expresses a genuine desire to please the other. 

No doubt, Jim and Della are the Magi:

The narrator explains that the wise men, or magi, brought gifts to the baby Jesus and so invented the giving of Christmas gifts. Because these men were wise, they no doubt gave wise gifts. Delia and Jim, the narrator asserts, have unwisely sacrificed their most precious possessions. Yet, because they gave from the heart, they are wise: "They are the magi."

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial