Many critics agree, “The Gift of the Magi” is, in all respects, an amazing and one of a kind story. One critic says, “Ironically, Fagin arrives at something utterly crucial to the success of 'The Gift of the Magi': that it has everything—an absorbing (if short) narrative drive and a twist ending that makes it wholly original” (Korb). Even renowned critic, Rena Korb, agrees; O.Henry did an excellent job with this story. Though O. Henry wrote many great stories, one of his most famous, and favorite, stories of all time is “The Gift of the Magi.” “The gift of the Magi” is a classic about a couple who sacrifices their happiness for the other. It is one of Henry’s most popular stories by far; even being remade many times. Such a popular story must have a powerful base with which to explain its message. That message is incorporated quite well into a few major themes; though, many different themes were used in this story. These themes ranged from materialism, generosity and love to more subtle undertones like selflessness and poverty. Of course, the most prominent is materialism; though, Henry goes to great lengths to show such a complex theme to his audience. He uses excellent literary devices like setting, conflict, creative syntax, and even figurative language all to his advantage. O. Henry uses many different, complex, literary elements to portray these different themes in “The Gift of the Magi.”
In “The Gift of the Magi,” Mrs. James Dillingham Young, Della, is the main round, static protagonist that is driven to make a difficult decision in order to buy her husband a Christmas gift that is worthy of him. Della is a round character because she does show many different sides. In the beginning of the story, it reads: “There was ...
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... did. People in the world are caring people that normally would do anything for a person that they love, and “The Gift of the Magi” is a published example of something everyday people would do.
Eckley, Wilton. "The Gift of the Magi: Overview." Reference Guide to Short Fiction. Ed. Noelle Watson. Detroit: St. James Press, Literature Resources from Gale. Gale. Web. 21 Jan. 2010.
"The Gift of the Magi." Short Stories for Students. Ed. Kathleen Wilson. Vol. 2. Detroit: Gale, 1997. 67-82. Short Stories for Students. Gale. Web. 19 Jan. 2010.
Henry, O. "The Gift of the Magi." LitFinder Classic Collection. Detroit: Gale, Literature Resources from Gale. Gale. Web. 19 Jan. 2010.
Korb, Rena. "An overview of 'The Gift of the Magi'." Short Stories for Students. Detroit: Gale, 2002. Literature Resources from Gale. Gale. Web. 12 Jan. 2010.