“Gift of the Magi” Analysis Chart Short Story Elements Example from Story Significance to Story or Impact on Story Characterization: Della “Della finished her cry and attended to her cheeks with the powder rag. She stood by the window and looked out dully at a gray cat walking a gray fence in a gray backyard. Tomorrow would be Christmas Day, and she had only $1.87 with which to buy Jim a present. She had been saving every penny she could for months, with this result. Twenty dollars a week doesn't go far.” (Henry 6). Henry characterizes Della as a devoted housewife who truly loves her husband. Throughout the short story, we have an image of a housewife who does not have the best financial means. Despite all adversities, she could only think about how she will buy a present for her husband. This quote is significant because it depicts the devotion she has put into their relationship. For months she has been saving for Jim’s present, even enduring humiliation from others by saving pennies. Theme: Sacrifice "‘Let’s put our Christmas presents away and keep 'em a while. They're too nice to use just at present. I sold the watch to get the money to buy your combs. And now suppose you put the chops on.’" (Henry 44) Throughout this short story, the theme sacrifice plays a very prominent role in the couple’s life. The husband and the wife both give up their most prized possessions to be able to afford Christmas gifts for each other. The sacrifices they have made have turned out rather ineffective since the gifts cannot be used. However, the narrator emphasizes that the chain and the combs have
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- Fall '16
- Solomon, Queen of Sheba, Della