Gifts given don’t matter, the love does James and Della were happy of the other’s love and company even after realizing that the biggest sacrifice they has made became futile. The love and the affection were still there. While some see gifts as only a matter of material and money, “The Gift of the Magi” suggests that gifts that are given don’t matter as much as the love behind them does, because gifts are a sign of love between people
O’Henry mentions there wisdom in the story as “… let it be said that of all who give gifts, these two were the wisest. Of all who give and receive gifts, such as they are the wisest. Everywhere they are the wisest. They are the magi. ” (Last Paragraph, lines 9 – 11) Theme 2: Sacrifice Sacrifice is an important theme of the story “the Gift of the Magi”. The story revolves around it and it is this theme that appeals the readers the most. O’Henry has deftly used poverty and love to make sacrifice. It also gains importance by the ‘O‘Henry twist’, where it becomes futile.
Some may believe that sacrifices that are futile are completely wasted, but the love between James and Della in O’Henry’s story “The Gift of the Magi” shows that the love in the sacrifice stops it from becoming futile. One point also worth mentioning is that from the point of view of the reader, the sacrifice and its turning futile is what gains his attention the most. But from the point of view of the characters in the story, namely James and Della, their love for each other gains their importance the most.
By Roald DahlI am reading a book called The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and six more. I chose for my book report to write about the story called The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar. It is about a man who is very rich and selfish. He paid to much attention to his clothes and what he looked like. But never did a day's work in his whole life. All his friends were wealthy and they would travel all ...
The sacrifice doesn’t hold any importance except conveying happiness to the person they love, and thus they don’t hesitate much in doing it. Della just “faltered for a minute… tear or two splashed”. But she had “Eyes shining brilliantly”“… with the brilliant sparkle still in her eyes she fluttered” to sell her hair. Also, at the time of the sacrifice, she did not think of herself, but only of James and instead of having second thoughts, she demanded the price of her hair “Give it to me quick! She was not for even a moment sad of her loss, but was “… ransacking the stores for Jim’s present. ” At the end of the story, when they realized that their sacrifices had turned futile, they were still content with their love for the other and Jim, to enjoy the Christmas, suggests Della to “… put the chops on. ” This theme shows that sacrifices made in love never go futile, for the love always gets exchanged. We often see people sacrifices what they had till valued the most, for who they now value the most.
Take the example of Odysseus and Penelope, who, getting separated after war and a shipwreck, with the least possibility of meeting each other, had sacrificed the innumerable opportunities the had got to lead a lavish and well settled life, which turns King Odysseus to a beggar, still lingering on the hope of meeting her wife. Theme 3: Love Love is another important theme that fills up a major portion of “The Gift of the Magi. ” It is love that made their sacrifices, and it is love that held them together when they realized that there sacrifices were in vain.
It is love that is of most importance to the characters in the story – James and Della. O’Henry’s story “The Gift of the Magi” portrays that love gives happiness which conquers all the difficulty and misery of one’s life. O’Henry has mentioned the thoughts in Della and Jim’s minds that convey love. Della, even after losing her greatest treasure, is still thinking about Jim and she goes to buy him a gift “…she knew that it must be Jim’s… Jim might be properly anxious about the time in any company. Della has a high regard for Jim, as she wanted to gift him”… something just a little bit near to being worthy of the honor of being owned by Jim” Jim also loves Della, an unconditional love that is shown when Jim says, “…I don’t think there is anything in the way of a haircut or a shave or a shampoo that could make me like my girl any less” There is also childishness in love. Both Jim and Della could have been more careful while buying the gifts for the other, because of their harsh financial conditions.
THE GIFT OF THE MAGI It was one week from Dellas 30 th birthday and Jim didnt have enough money to buy her a present. Well, Jim thought, if I dont have a watch then why should I have a chain for one So, he sold his watch chain in order to have money for Dellas present. Now, what do I buy Della he asked himself. I think Ill go to the flea market and look for something, because one little rusty old ...
But O’Henry mentions the foolish childishness in love which does not allow either of them to act that way. He relates“…the uneventful chronicle of two foolish children in a flat who most unwisely sacrificed for each other the greatest treasures of their house. ” Thus O’Henry has very skillfully shown the happiness love gives despite any trouble Theme 4: Poverty and Happiness O’Henry, through his story “The Gift of the Magi”, demonstrates that when in love, happiness is impervious to poverty.
James and Della still live a happy life, despite their poor financial conditions. Even poverty does not have the power to interfere with the love and happiness of James and Della. For Jim’s present, Della only had “One Dollar and eighty-five cents…sixty cents of it was in pennies. Pennies saved one or two at a time by bulldozing the groceries and the vegetable man and the butcher…one’s cheeks burnt with the silent imputation of parsimony.
Jim’s “…income was shrunk to $20 a week…” Their house was “…a furnished flat at $8 per week”. Della had “… her old brown jacket… old brown hat… ” and Jim, ““He needed a new overcoat and was without gloves. ” But still the couple is happy together. It is seen that Poverty forces wisdom upon the sufferer. O’Henry compares the protagonist of the story with the magi who had wisely invented the art of giving presents that could have been exchanged. But in this situation, no duplication or exchange was possible.
Love was untouched by the natural consequences of poverty, something that may not be seen in affluence. Thus O’Henry’s “The Gift of the Magi” is a masterpiece that revolves around Gifts, Sacrifice, Love, poverty and Happiness. O’ Henry has very correctly compared the characters of the story with the Magi- the wise men that gave gifts to the babe and invented the art of giving and receiving gifts in Christmas, for James and Della had gifted each other with their utmost thought and love.
The mind is a powerful device. It controls the way we think and do things. It also controls how much happiness or sadness we have. Famous Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy said, “Happiness doesn’t depend on outward things, but on the way we see them.” I completely agree with this quotation for it is similar to the quote, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” We all see happiness in various ways, ...