Bender 1 Jenna Bender Tobias Veeder 3/16/2018 The Greatest Gift Some people are willing to sacrifice many things in the name of love. In O. Henry's Gift of the Magi , he tells a story about a young couple in the 1900s at Christmas time. The two main characters, Della and Jim, are used to express different themes within the story. These two characters are able to present the themes of poverty, anxiety, sacrifice, and love to the reader. O. Henry touches on many themes throughout Gift of the Magi, but the main themes here are love and sacrifice. The story begins with Mrs. James Dillingham Young, also known as Della. Della wants to buy her husband a gift for Christmas. Della counts how much money she has to buy a gift. She had one dollar and eighty-seven cents. Her situation gives her a lot of anxiety. She struggles with the fact that she had been saving all year for a gift for Jim (her husband), but still does not have a gift “worthy” of him. The unnamed narrator describes Della's situation, “Only $ 1.87 to buy a gift for Jim. Her Jim. She had had many happy hours planning something nice for him. Something nearly good enough. Something almost worth the honor of belonging to Jim.” Della feels anxiety over giving him a gift that isn't perfect because she loves him so much. O. Henry mainly focuses on Della's view of the story. O. Henry describes Della's feelings about her situation mostly from a third person view. The narrator will comment on certain things that Della does or how she feels. The narrator often describes Della as, “Her eyes were shining
Bender 2 brightly, but her face had lost its color.” There are a few places Henry says that Della's eyes were shiny brightly. Della may be in hard situation because she is poor, but she is hopeful because of her love of her husband, Jim. In Dermot's analysis of Gift of the Magi the author states how Henry uses the colors of grey and brown to describe Della's outlook. Here Dermot states, “Just as grey and brown would be considered to be dull colours which lack any brightness. Henry may be similarly suggesting that Della’s life also lacks any brightness (or happiness).” That interpretation is half right. Della and Jim struggle with poverty but they are generally happy
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