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Gift of the Magi

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The Gift of the Magi is an ironic tale of love and sacrifice. The story starts by talking about the poor circumstances of a young couple, Mr. and Mrs. James Dillingham Young. O. Henry writes in short sentences and it has a feel like he is sharing the story with a friend. The description of the poor flat and low income set a sad tone to the story like when the author calls their couch "shabby" and says that Della flops down on it and howls because she doesn't have enough money to buy her husband a nice gift.

Della and James, who she calls Jim were a very poor young couple who lived in a modest eight dollar a week apartment in New York. Even though they were very poor they seemed to be happy and very much in love. Christmas was just a day away and Della only had one dollar and eighty-seven cents to buy Jim a gift. She chooses to sacrifice her most prized possession to make her love happy and ironically discovers he has done the same. Della and Jim love each other so much that they were willing to give up their most prized possessions, her hair and his watch, to see the other happy on Christmas Day. The couple is very proud of two of their belongings, Jim's gold watch which had once belonged to his father and Della's long brown hair. In one scene Della is taking her long hair down for the last time and then quickly puts it back as tears fall from her face. She is out walking when she came across Madame Sofronie Hair Articles of all kinds. "She ran to the second floor where Madame. Sofronie's salon was and asked: "Will you buy my hair? "Take your hat off and let me look at it." said Madame Sofronie.

Madame Sofronie gave her twenty dollars for her precious and beautiful hair" said O'Henry. Della searched one shop to another to find the "right" gift for her husband. She bought a very valuable gold chain for twenty one dollars just enough for Jim's watch. When Della arrives home she is both nervous and excited. She even says a small prayer asking that Jim still thinks she's pretty even though she now has short hair that she thinks looks like a "truant schoolboy". When Jim gets home he does not seem to believe what he is seeing. Della says: "Jim, dear, don't look at me like that. I had my hair cut off and sold it. I couldn't live through Christmas without giving you a gift." "I sold it for you." Della wanted Jim to know that she loved him so much that she had to show him by sacrificing her precious hair for his gold chain. When it was Jim's turn to give Della her present he told her that a hair cut could not make him love her less and after she saw his gift to her she would understand why he acted like he did. Della was happy because she had wanted the beautiful combs he got for her but she also cried because she could not wear them. When Della gave Jim his gift he buried his head in his hands because

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