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The Gift of the Magi

by O. Henry

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What is the exposition of "The Gift of the Magi"?

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In a piece of literature, the exposition serves to kind of set the scene.  It is meant to give the reader the background to the story.  It gives them information that they need to understand the rest of the story and it sets up the conflict.

To me, the exposition of this story consists of the first six paragraphs.  In this part of the story we learn that Jim and Della are poor.  We learn that in some detail (how much he makes, how much she has left).  Then we learn about the main conflict -- we learn that she wants to buy him a Christmas present with that paltry amount of money.

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