The Gift of the Magi
Gabrielle M Parks
ENG 125-Introduction to Literature
November 1, 2014
Throughout literature writers have sought to entertain or to tell a very important story. Often there is a hidden depth or theme to the story that is overlooked by the reader. The story The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry is about value and sacrifice. The author uses point-of-view and situational irony to support and bring meaning to the various themes.
The theme of a story tells you what the story is about (Clugston, 2014, section 6.1). It is essential for the reader to establish the theme of the story so that he/she is aware of what the writer is trying to convey. In ...view middle of the document...
We have an inside track to their thoughts and feelings. The writer uses pronouns like he, she or they to refer to the characters of the story (Clugston, 2014, section 4.2). As stated above, the use of third person really allows the reader to connect with the characters, especially when the author writes, “There was clearly nothing to do but flop down on the shabby little couch and howl” (Clugston, 2014, section 4.4). Della felt such despair when faced with the dilemma of not having enough money to buy her husband a Christmas present. The strength of the writers’ descriptive talent also contributes to the connection the reader has with the characters. The point-of-view contributes to the theme, in the way that we are able to connect with Della and “feel” her love and devotion to Jim. Her greatest pride is her hair and yet she is willing to cut it off in order to buy Jim a chain for his pocket watch. Also, Jim’s willingness to sell his pocket watch to buy combs for Della’s hair is a great depiction of sacrifice and love.
Irony refers to saying one thing while meaning something opposite (Mikics, 2007, pg. 160). Situational irony is when a certain situation ends in an unexpected way. Della searches for a way to earn money to buy her husband a Christmas present. She decides to sell her hair to Madame Sofronie for $20 (Clugston, 2014, section 4.4). In this situation the expected outcome is that Della buys her husband a...