Why is "The Gift of the Magi" an interesting story?

Expert Answers
litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are several elements that make a story interesting.  These may vary from person to person.  However, “The Gift of the Magi” has been a well-loved story for generations.  A lot of people must find it interesting!  I’d suggest there are two main reasons.  First, it uses irony.  Second, it has a meaningful theme.

Irony is when something happens in a story that you don’t expect.  In this case, the young husband and wife each buy each other a gift that they can’t use.  What makes this ironic is that each one gives up something he or she appreciates in order to get something nice for the other one.  Jim sells his gold watch to buy Delilah a new set of combs for her hair.  Delilah sells her hair to buy Jim a watch chain. The new gifts are useless, because they can only be used with the possessions they sold.  The irony is unexpected and helps make the story interesting.

Another reason the story is interesting is because it has meaningful themes, or messages.  People find stories more interesting when they can make personal connections to them.  There are many themes you could take from this story.  One theme is that love is more valuable than property.  They love each other, and that matters more than their most valued possessions.  They don’t realize this until the end.  Another theme might be that giving is more important than receiving, or that a gift is more valuable when it comes from sacrifice.