Character Analysis Della: One Devoted Woman Della is the loving, warm, selfless, and occasionally hysterical heroine of the story. Della's financially poor. She spends all of her days in a cramped flat, as "mistress of the home" (3). In other words, she's a homemaker. Della basically lives for one thing (or rather, person): Jim, her husband. She's spent a lot of the time leading up to Christmas just thinking of what to get him: She had been saving every penny she could for months, with this result. Twenty dollars a week doesn't go far. Expenses had been greater than she had calculated. They always are. Only $1.87 to buy a present for Jim. Her Jim. Many a happy hour she had spent planning for something nice for him. (5) As you might gather from that, Della throws just about every bit of energy she has into being good to Jim. She's been saving for months just to round up money for a Christmas present. She has even endured the humiliation of pinching pennies at stores. He may not be bringing in much money, but Jim is the cat's pajamas for Della. He deserves the absolute best, which is why she's so set on getting him the perfect present: "Something fine and rare and sterling – something just a little bit near to being worthy of the honor of being owned by Jim" (6). Della is willing to go to any length to achieve this goal, and ends up selling her one prized possession – her hair – to do it. Although she sheds a tear or two over the hair, really it doesn't seem to affect her that much. She doesn't even think it's much of a choice. She has to get Jim a present: "I had my hair cut off and sold because I couldn't have lived through Christmas without giving you a present. It'll grow out again – you won't mind, will you? I just had to do it" (28). In fact, the thing that seems to bother Della most about losing her hair is that Jim likes it so much. She's worried he won't find her pretty anymore (though she doesn't really have anything to worry about). She barely seems to think of herself at all. That's devotion. Is Della Too Devoted? Della's so devoted, in fact, you might be a little bit bothered. It might be difficult to define Della apart from Jim: she lives for her husband. But it looks like her husband might live only for her too. After all, he sacrifices his watch – which
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