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The Gift of the Magi

by O. Henry

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Do you agree that the theme of "The Gift of the Magi" is love and sacrifice?

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One could certainly acknowledge that love and sacrifice are the two primary themes of O. Henry's classic short story "The Gift of the Magi." In the story, Jim and Della are extremely poor and they both sacrifice their most valuable items to purchase an expensive Christmas gift for their significant other. Della sacrifices her beautiful hair to earn enough money to purchase Jim an expensive watch fob while Jim sells his prized pocket watch to buy Della a valuable set of combs. Ironically, Jim and Della's gifts are useless when they discover that they have each sacrificed their most prized possessions to purchase elaborate gifts.

Although Jim and Della made foolish decisions, O. Henry considers them to be wise because they understood the true essence of gift giving. Their sacrifices were an outward expression of their love, which is the primary theme of the story. Jim and Della's generosity is inspirational and their love overshadows any material item that they could have purchased. O. Henry is encouraging readers to give from the heart because a monetary amount cannot be applied to a genuine expression of love. Therefore, Jim and Della's love and sacrifice are the prominent themes explored throughout O. Henry's classic short story.

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