moment later, he embraces Della in his arms. The climax occurs when Della and Jim open their gifts. Jim takes a package from his overcoat and tosses it onto a table (171). He tells his wife, “There’s nothing she could do that would make him love her any less (171).” After opening the present, she cries out with joy, and then bursts into tears. Her gift is a set of expensive, tortoise-shell combs she had long eyed in a shop window. To comfort him, she says, “My hair grows so fast, James!”(172). Then Della gives him his present, which was the watch chain. In irony Jim had sold his pocket watch to buy the combs and Della had sold her hair to buy the watch chain. Like the three wise men of long ago, Della and Jim had given perfect gifts. After all, the narrator says, they “sacrificed for each other the greatest treasures of
their house” (172). Della and James gave each other the best of all possible gifts, love. It does not matter that James no longer has the gold watch to display on the stylish chain that Della gave him. Nor does it matter that Della no longer has lengthy, lush hair to comb with the gift James gave her. What truly matters is the love they share between one another.
Works Cited Henry,O. "The Gift of the Magi." Literature: An Introduction to Fiction Poetry, and Drama. 11th edition. Ed. X.J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia. New York: Longman, 2010. 169-172.
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- Fall '08
- The Gift of the Magi, Santa Claus, Della