Week 2 - Assignment - Theme and Narrative Elements in the Short Story - RUNNING HEAD Theme and Narrative 1 Karyn Lenhardt-Betts Theme and Narrative

Week 2 - Assignment - Theme and Narrative Elements in the Short Story

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RUNNING HEAD: Theme and Narrative 1 Karyn Lenhardt-Betts Theme and Narrative Elements in the Short Story ENG125: Introduction to Literature Instructor: Olabisi Adenekan May 6, 2013
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Theme and Narrative 2 Theme and Narrative Elements in the Short Story The short story that I have chosen to analyze the importance of theme and narrative elements is, “The Gift of the Magi” by O. Henry. The main theme of Henry’s “The Gift of the Magi” is of love and self sacrifice. Furthermore, Henry uses point of view, tone, theme and irony to engage the reader and allow us the opportunity to ponder the true meaning of a gift. Henry's story is remembered and retold for the sentimental warmth that shines through; the playful and optimistic sense of humor, and especially for the twist in the ending. The point of view that is utilized in this literary work is the third-person omniscient. The short story is written in a uniquely oral style, as if the narrator (or Henry himself) were telling you the tale in person. We know this point of view is being used because Henry is the external narrator who is all-knowing and relates the thoughts and feelings of the characters. This third-person limited omniscient point of view is used consistently though out the short story, “The Gift of the Magi”. This adds to the affect of the narrative theme by setting the tone of suspense by building up to the situational and verbal irony. (Cengage, n.d.) The tone of the story is set by Henry telling the story almost as a story teller. Reading the short story had me thinking back to the days my Mom would read us stories at bedtime. In much the same way Henry comes across as a wise, preachy, grandfather figure who is trying to teach his children or grandchildren a lesson in a gentle and well-meaning manor. “While the mistress of the home is gradually subsiding from the first stage to the second, take a look at the home. A furnished flat at $8 per week” (Clugston, 2010). My Mom would take short breaks from the
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