True Meaning of Christmas in The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry

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The “Gift of the Magi” by O. Henry is a short story that has an interesting theme. The main themes in this short story are that people do not need money to express love, and the true meaning of Christmas. Things such as the characters, setting, and events contribute to the theme. The characters Della and Jim have very little money, and yet they express their love by each selling their greatest treasures. Della sells her hair and Jim sells his watch. If they were both wealthy people, the story would have most likely have changed for the worse. Since these people make very little money, their gifts come more from the heart and show how much they care about each other. Having the story set in a big city impacted the theme of the story. Life is more stressful in the city, especially for those who are less fortunate. The difference of the setting being in the city rather than a small town, is that the cities often have many people who cannot afford expensive presents. The city has people just like Della and Jim who can only afford to have presents from the heart. The events have a large role in the theme of people expressing their love without money. Della sells her hair to buy a watch chain for Jim. Jim sells his watch to buy an set of combs for Della. In the end they each end up not being able to use the gifts but realize how much affection they each have. O. Henry describes the scene where Della is preparing to go sell her hair very vividly. “So now Della's beautiful hair fell about her rippling and shining like a cascade of brown waters...Once she faltered for a minute and stood still while a tear or two splashed on the worn red carpet.

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