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The Gift Of the Magi By O.Henry - Book Report/Review Example

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O. Henry's beloved story, The Gift of the Magi was first published as a Christmas story in a local newspaper around the holiday season. It tells the story of a young couple who are too poor to be able to afford Christmas gifts for each other and decide to give up their most prized possessions in order to be able to afford a gift…
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The Gift Of the Magi By O.Henry
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Download file to see previous pages After the initial shock they fall into one another's arms, each realizing the other was willing to part with his dearest possession. It was the selfless love, not the gift itself, that truly mattered. The story ends with the couple not feeling any sense of loss, but only a gain in knowing their Christmas is in no way ruined, but fulfilled. The story reflects William Sydney Porter's own life and his love of his wife Athol. The story truly captures the Christmas spirit and reminded me, as well as any other reader, that the best gifts come from the heart.
The title of this story "The Gift of the Magi" is very symbolic. Not only does it refer to the Christmas season, but also reminds readers of the small but meaningful gifts that the wisemen of Christian religion brought to the Christ child upon his birth. Just as the bible describes the magi's gifts as simple, so are the young couple's simple gifts. Though the gifts of the wisemen were small tokens, the honor and love that they represent it what made the story worth telling. The allusion between the gifts of the wisemen and the gifts of the young couple are striking because O. Henry wanted to stress the importance of personal gifts that show ones love and affection for another. The biblical references do not only pertain to the gifts in the story, but O. Henry uses them to describe Jim and Della's physical appearances and possessions. He compares Della's hair to the Queen of Sheba saying, "Had the Queen of Sheba lived in the flat across the airshaft, Della would have let her hair hang out the window some day just to depreciate her majesty's jewels and gifts" ( Gioai, Kennedy). Likewise Jim's watch is compared to King Solomon's treasures with O. Henry describing, "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" (Gioai, Kennedy ). O. Henry stressed these biblical comparisons because he wants the reader to realize that to Della and Jim, their possessions are just as precious to them as the treasures of the wealthy kings and queens of the bible. These thoughts of grand gifts and possessions seem to be in utter contrast to O. Henry's surroundings at the time he wrote his stories. Struggling with money problems and writing many of his stories from his jail cell makes it obvious what kinds of gifts O. Henry felt were the most special to him. The love of his wife stood out as the greatest gift he could receive and he proves with this story how he valued it more than the most expensive of treasures.
William Sydney Porter loved to use symbols in his writer in the hopes of conveying a larger message to his readers. Just as he uses Della and Jim to symbolize biblical characters, O. Henry himself created a pseudonym to symbolize different meanings to his readers. " I should like to explore the possibility that O. Henry is actually an unsuspected trick name based on a clever pun" (Eppinga). O. Henry loved to use puns, surprise endings and symbolism in his stories so it makes sense that his pseudonym be the same way. It has been rumored that when William Sydney Porter created his pen name in the Ohio Penitentiary as a kind of private joke to symbolize the name of the Penitentiary itself. Many critics agree that a simple zig zagging of the letters in Ohio ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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