illustration of two people, a woman and a man, looking at one another in profile with an ornate hair comb between them

The Gift of the Magi

by O. Henry

Start Free Trial

Student Question

Do you agree with the statement "Sacrifice is giving up something better," using "The Gift of the Magi" as reference?

Expert Answers

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

First of all, you need to examine the quote and form your own opinion.  Do you believe that sacrifice is giving up something better?  If you think so, here are some examples from The Gift of the Magi which show how the characters sacrificed by giving up something better, or something they valued.

Della treasured her long hair.  She needed money to buy a gift for her husband, Jim.  Della felt that she had no choice but to sell her hair to buy a gift for Jim.  She made a sacrifice because she believed that a gift for Jim was more important than her long hair.  Jim also needed money to buy a gift for Della.  He sold his special pocket watch to buy a comb set for Della.  He sacrificed his family heirloom because he believed that a special gift for Della was more important than it.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial