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actions of both Jim and Della portray these themes. The poor couple finds that they each have only one prized possession. For Jim, this is a gold pocket watch passed down from his father and grandfather; and for Della, it is her beautiful long hair. For Christmas, they both choose to sell their cherished possession to purchase their spouse a gift that would accentuate the others favorite belonging. Della sells her hair to buy Jim a platinum chain for his watch, and Jim sells his watch for hair combs that Della had seen and loved. They both are willing to show their love by parting with their prized items.What kind of conflict (internal/external) did this character encounter, and how did he or she handle it?Jim struggles, as his wife does, with a significant internal conflict, which is how to purchase a Christmas gift that could show the depth of his love for Della living in such poverty. He handles this conflict by having an epiphany and deciding that his love for Della is worth more than any possession of his and sells the watch for a present that he knows she would adore. According to Clugston (2014), “internal conflict holds the story together and prepares the reader for the epiphany—a character’s sudden, profound personal discovery that helps to convey the meaning of the story” (Section 4.1, para. 7). When the couple exchanges the gifts and they realize the irony in their purchases, Jim gains the wisdom of how the gift wasn’t important, but rather the love that they have for each other and the thoughtfulness that is truly the best gift.
How does the setting contribute to the character’s development? How does the setting contribute to the character’s experience and give the story more meaning?The setting plays an enormous role in the theme and character development within “The Gift of the Magi.” The setting the narrator presents is the poverty that the couple lives in and that Christmas is fast approaching. These are the exact reasons why the Dillinghams have the limited prized possessions that they do, and why the couple is brought to the point where there have to resort to selling these items. A different setting would not have encouraged the drastic actions of