The Gift of the Magi and Two Thanksgiving Day Gentlemen by O. Henry

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To understand the characters in O. Henry stories we must understand what motivates each character to do the things they do. How stories that seem similar and have a common theme can change drastically when we begin to analyze their subtle differences. The O. Henry stories “The Gift of the Magi” and “Two Thanksgiving Day Gentlemen,” both follow a similar theme. The stories are about sacrifices that people make in order to give someone a better outcome. The tone and meaning of each story is changed, however, when we begin to focus on why the character chose to make the sacrifice. People make sacrifices for all different reasons, either because of love, guilt or believing they will receive something in return. O. Henry stories are set through the holiday season, Thanksgiving and Christmas. The season does seem to bring out the giving nature of people. This may have been the reason O. Henry stories are set through the holiday season and not some random day. This time of year are when many people make sacrifices in order for someone to have something better. Every year people make material sacrifices to insure someone elses happiness. We don't want to disappoint the ones we love or the ones who depend on us because that seems like it would be out of character for the season. This is why the characters in these two short stories are so willing to make so many sacrifices. They feel more obligated to give because it is a time to celebrate. The characters in the stories may have not made these sacrifices any other time. O. Henry set his stories during the Christmas and Thanksgiving season in order for us to understand why the characters were so giving. If O. Henry set his stories for any other times the sacrifices that were made ma... ... middle of paper ... ... of a great love story. O. Henry stories are both about sacrifices, but the tone and meaning between the two stories are very different. “The Gift of the Magi,” is a passionate love story that most people can relate to because most people have known some type of love that has made us want to make sacrifice in someway. The message of “Two Thanksgiving Day Gentlemen,” is that people's attitudes toward holidays and customary traditions have accustomed people of what giving and sacrifices really are. O. Henry message is that people need to let go of this customary need to give and be charity during the holidays, instead be a good and charitable person all year round. O. Henry has done a good job and telling us similar stories with similar plots and twists but changing the character enough for us understand the different meanings in each of his stories.

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