poverty one of the most important. The strong theme of irony in the story caused all four of the critics to discuss its meaning and relevancy. Without this important theme, and the twist ending, the critics all agreed that the story would still be interesting, but not nearly as memorable or famous as it is to this day. The irony creates the climax of the story and the conclusion and enables the story the take on a new tone. Love was the final theme that the critics all agreed on. It is perhaps the most prevalent theme throughout the story, as the whole plot revolves around the two characters loving each other so much that they would sell their most prized possessions in order to purchase something for the other person. While these sources all agree on what the main themes are, they each have a different opinion as to which theme is the most prevalent. Bialal argued that generosity was the most important aspect of this story. “…any story that focuses on gift-giving as its major plot-line must deal with the concept of generosity…” (Bialal, 2012). Wilson believed that value was the most important theme present in the short story. The value that the characters place on their possessions and the value they place on each other are central themes to the story. Bryllion states that love is the most important theme is this story, as it creates the reasoning behind why the characters make the decisions that they do. He explains that the theme of
Harwell 5 love provides the tone for the entire story and without it, you might not understand the characters’ choices. Sarashita’s disposition was that sacrifice was the most prominent theme in the story. “ It can be said “The Gift of The Magi” has the theme: sacrifice sometimes can be pointless” (Sarashita, 2014). She expounds upon her reasoning by reminding us that even though the two characters sacrificed their most prized possessions, their sacrifices were pointless. Upon reading through this short story, we have concluded that irony is the most important theme of the story. As Bryllion states: “… why is it a masterpiece? Not because it tries to take us into the home of a married couple attempting to exist in our largest city on the husband’s income of $20 per week. No, that wouldn’t make it famous. Much better stories of poverty have been written…” (1923). As he explained, it wasn’t the setting that made the story famous, rather, the memorable twist-ending that O. Henry is known for. He had even written a similar story about a married couple in poverty named Joe and Delia (sound familiar?). Yet, this story was not nearly as famous as “The Gift of the Magi” because it was not as memorable. I believe that while all of the aforementioned scholars discussed and analyzed the short story in great detail, I believe they all failed to expound upon the abundance of Biblical references and imagery in the story. The story makes a direct reference to both Queen Sheba and King Soloman. “Had the queen of Sheba lived in the flat across the airshaft, Della would have let
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