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Running head: “THE GIFT OF THE MAGI”1Receiving “The Gift of the Magi”Melissa FontenotENG 125 Introduction to LiteratureDr. Michael HollisFebruary 11, 2013
“THE GIFT OF THE MAGI”2Receiving “The Gift of the Magi”Gifts given between individuals are a symbol of friendship, love, caring, or devotion. A person who is wise gives a gift their recipient will be able to use on a regular basis or will cherish; such is the nature of a gift, something precious, something valued, a treasure worth sacrificing to attain. The theme of the short story “The Gift of the Magi” is sacrificial love basedon Della saving every penny for months to purchase a gift. Two elements of the work include the plot about a couple struggling within poverty even, bargaining with debtors to save money to purchase gifts for each other for Christmas, and the literary element of symbolism is represented by the beautiful combs bought for Della’s hair and Jim’s gold watch both of which would be sacrificed for the sake of love for the opposite partner. The theme of the short story “The Gift of the Magi” penned by O. Henry is sacrificial love. As the theme of the story requires the reader to delve deeper than the mere words written in the text, it can be difficult to discern (Clugston, 2010, Chapter 7:1). However, in this short story, Della speaks of her self-sacrifice when telling of the struggle to save every penny for months; especially since the twenty dollars Jim makes a week did not go too far after paying expenses (cited in Clugston, 2010). Seeking to buy Jim the best gift for Christmas, Della seems to be willing to do nearly anything and agonizes over the expenses being more than she expected. When she takes her hair down in front of the mirror and makes the decision to part with what is stated to be a “possession of which there was much pride (cited in Clugston, 2010,