The Gift of Magi
Country Lovers Alyssa Helm English 125 Instructor: David Makhanlall November 7, 2011 Themes: The Gift of Magi It is always great to read stories where the author is able to show love between two characters. “The Gift of Magi” was a great example of this. This story showed how a couple’s love was so strong between the two, that they were able to give up their most prize possessions for one another. “The Gift of Magi” allows the reader to be able to relate to this love story with a heartwarming theme of love vs. material things.
As a reader reading this story there were a lot of themes or meanings that this story has. A theme: “it is not a statement about a dominant impression or mood; it is not a moral or proposition; it is not the attitude of the writer. Theme is more complex than any of these elements of fiction; it can’t be defined in a single word” (Clugston, R.
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W. (2010). The most important would be showing the limits a person would go for someone that they love, even if it means giving up the most important thing to them. Della, with only $1. 7, wanted to make sure that she was able to provide her husband with what she felt would be the best Christmas gift. Della considered her long, brown hair as one of her most prized possessions. But, when it came down to her hair or getting her husband Jim a Christmas gift she did not think twice about cutting it. The twenty dollars that the woman offered her at the hair shop seemed to be just enough for her to be able to purchase the perfect gift. There were many literary elements that contributed to the theme of this story.
The first one would be symbols. There are two main symbols that are represented in this story. This would be Della’s long brown hair and her husband Jim’s gold watch. .” Had the queen of Sheba lived in the flat across the airshaft, Della would have let her hair hang out the window some day to dry just to depreciate Her Majesty’s jewels and gifts. Had King Solomon been the janitor, with all his treasures piled up in the basement, Jim would have pulled out his watch every time he passed, just to see him pluck at his beard from envy”(Clugston, R. W. (2010).
These two things are focused on the most in this story. The end result in this story has a twist on it. Della and Jim both bought things to compliment each other’s prized possessions. The focus was mainly put on Della’s hair however at the end of the story it reveals how her husband Jim had sold his watch so that he was able to purchase the hair barrettes that she couldn’t use now because she cut her hair. Della didn’t know what reaction she would get from her husband, she even went home to style her now short hair so that it maybe her husband would accept her drastic cut.
The couple did this only to find out at the end of the story that they both got rid of what was most important so they could buy each other a gift for the holidays. The second literary element that would contribute to this them would be the point of view. This story was told in third person. This means that the story contained a narrator. “It’s important to remember that the narrator, whether a character inside the story or one looking on from outside the action, is a voice invented by the author for the purposes of the story. Clugston, R. W. (2010). I feel like with this story it helps set the mood and was able to allow the reader to sympathize with the couple. I say this because the narrator is able to describe in full detail the feelings of each character. We are able to see things that we would not if the character had been telling the story. The narrator is able to provide us with full detail about each facial expression, or feeling that is told.
Although this couple was only trying to make sure they each had something for Christmas, I feel like if they had communication they would have been able to avoid losing items that meant the most to them. I totally understand how much it means to be able to buy your loved one something on a holiday, but it’s not always about materialistic things as you have each other. Reference Page 1) Clugston, R. W. (2010). Journey into Literature.