If you were Della, how would you feel about the gift you received in "The Gift of the Magi" by O. Henry?

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sciftw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

If I was Della, I would feel incredibly blessed and humbled by Jim's gift. Jim's gift is a set of decorative combs. The gift shows a fair amount of thought from Jim. He knows Della loves her hair, and many people consider it her best attribute. He also knows Della has been wanting the combs.

For there lay The Combs — the combs that Della had seen in a shop window and loved for a long time. Beautiful combs, with jewels, perfect for her beautiful hair. She had known they cost too much for her to buy them.

My guess is that Della never vocalized her desire of the combs. She knows how poor she and Jim are. She knows he works hard, and she knows talking about something like the combs might make Jim feel worse about their current money situation. Nevertheless, Jim knows Della wants the combs. The fact that Jim is willing to sell his most prized possession to buy a completely superfluous item for Della shows he has a great deal of love for her. To be married to such a loving man—and know it—would feel incredibly humbling. The gifts serve as just another illustration of why Jim and Della are blessed to be together despite their poverty.

davmor1973 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I'd be absolutely delighted by Jim's gift. It would show how incredibly kind and considerate he is, and how he's always thinking of me. Although the gift may be technically useless now I've shaved off most of my lovely locks, it's the thought that counts. In any case, my hair can always grow back, and when it does, the combs will still be there. The best things come to those who wait, as they say, and Jim's wonderful gift will be all the more special for having to wait to use it.

More than anything else, Jim's thoughtful gift confirms the strength of his and Della's marriage, based as it is on a solid foundation of mutual love and respect. And that, I'm sure, would be very important indeed for Della—maybe the most important thing of all.

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The Gift of the Magi

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