The Gift of the Magi and its Background Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 15 November 2016

The Gift of the Magi and its Background

In my paper I am going to be describing the short story The Gift of the Magi. Throughout my paper I am going to describe what I feel is the theme of the story itself. I will also be explaining and identifying symbolism used and described in the story, as well as talking about the point of view that the narrator used in the story. Finally, I will be describing how the literary elements affect the narrators theme. The Gift of the Magi, is a short story written by O Henry, in this short story is the true meaning of love and the importance it is to show your loved ones how much they mean to you and how much you care about them.

I believe that the theme of the story, The Gift of the Magi, would be the gift of giving. People often forget about the importance and giving and just focus their attention on receiving. They are less likely to worry more about purchasing something for somebody else as they are worried about what somebody else is going to purchase and give to them as a present. My look on this is it is better to give than to receive. In this story it is like how I feel and how I think around Christmas time they do not think about what their husband or their wife is going to be purchasing them as gifts this year. They are just focused on and concerned about buying each other the gift they believe is the perfect gift.

They want to show them how much they care about them, and even if it means turning in their prized possessions they will do that in order to purchase this gift for Christmas. It shows how hard of a time financially that Jim and Della were having. Della only had $1.87 to her name to be able to purchase her husband Jim the gift she wanted to for Christmas and this was not going to happen. She knew that she was going to have to sell her hair to be able to purchase her husband Jim’s watch that she wanted to get him for Christmas. “They, nevertheless, learn a lot about the nature of love and its relationship to giving.” (Clugston, 2010 p.5.5).

I believe that throughout the story there was a lot of symbolism that was used. Just to name a couple that I feel is very important part of the story would be Della’s hair, and Jim’s watch. These are very important to each other and would be considered their most prized possessions. I feel like they both use their own item to symbolize love. They took it upon themselves to sell their prized possessions in order to be able to purchase the gift for each other for Christmas. They had to sell these in order to have enough money and to be able to financially purchase the perfect gif they had found each other. This shows the real love they had for each other, and also shows unselfish love. The point of view this short story was told in was third-person limited omniscient. This point of view is used when the thoughts and feelings throughout the story is focused on one of the characters instead of more than one.

After reading, The Gift of the Magi, I think that the narrator uses various literary elements to help the reader better understand what the theme of the story is really about. I believe that Della and Jim shows what love, generosity, and materialism is really about during this story. The author’s main character he created was of beauty and emotion. Della appears to be very selfless in the short story. She is not concerned about herself, but only concerned about her husband.

I believe that the author goes into very good detail about the feelings and emotions of Della and Jim in the story so it will help people who are reading it to be able to relate better to the story. When reading the story I could see times that I personally have hard it hard and it made me to be able to relate to the feelings that she was having. I believe that the literary elements were used a lot during the story to really just give the reader a better understand of what they are reading. It is easier for a reader to be able to concentrate, focus, and enjoy the story if they can relate to it.

Clugston, R. W. (2010). Journey into Literature. San Diego, California: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

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  • University/College: University of California

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

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