The Gift that the Magi an overview "The Gift of the Magi" is a 1905 short story by O. Henry around Jim and also Della, an impoverished young couple who do sacrifices in order come buy every other coherent Christmas gifts. 

Della sells she beautiful hair in order to buy a nice watch chain for Jim’s lovely heirloom watch.When Jim comes home, the reveals the he has sold his clock to buy lovely combs for Della"s hair.Though Della and Jim’s corresponding sacrifices have actually rendered their presents functionally useless, they keep their great humor and also decide to conserve the fine presents for a later time.

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critical Updated on august 13, 2020, by Editorial. Indigenous Count: 913


“The Gift of the Magi” is a quick story by O. Henry. The story was first published in The brand-new York Sunday World in 1905, and it to be later contained in Henry’s 1906 quick story collection, The 4 Million. The has due to the fact that become among Henry’s best-known and also most frequently adapted works. Collection in new York City, “The Gift of the Magi” details young, impoverished Della Dillingham Young’s pursuit to purchase the perfect Christmas gift for her husband, Jim. Wanting come buy Jim a well gift the accurately conveys she love for him, Della decides to sell her beautiful hair so the she deserve to afford to buy a chain for Jim’s prized heirloom watch. However, in standard O. Henry fashion, the story ends with a twist: Jim has actually sold his watch in order to buy a set of combs for Della’s beautiful hair. Yet fairly than mocking the pair for their evidently pointless sacrifices, Henry instead implies that their resides are enriched by the selfless love they have actually for one another. 


Plot Summary

Della Dillingham Young has one dollar and also eighty-seven cents with which come buy she beloved husband, Jim, a Christmas gift. She is dismayed at just how meager the amount is, together she has spent months saving. The Dillingham Youngs are an extremely poor, through Jim’s earnings having actually been diminished from thirty dollars a main to only twenty dollars. Della’s dismay leads her to litter herself upon her “shabby” couch in her cheap and worn-down apartment. She shows that she has spent numerous hours fantasizing about buying Jim a nice gift, one the would display him just how pleased she is to it is in his wife. However, with only one dollar and eighty-seven cents, she to know she will certainly be can not to acquire a perfect present.

Inspiration strikes as soon as Della records sight of herself in the mirror. She pulls she hair down and lets the lengthy tresses settle roughly her. The Dillingham Youngs have two prized possessions: Della’s beautiful hair and also Jim’s yellow watch, i beg your pardon he obtained from his father. Della easily ties her hair increase again and, after shedding a couple of tears, pipeline the apartment. 

Della walks to Mme. Sofronie’s Hair goods store with a “brilliant sparkle” in she eyes. She asks if mam Sofronie will certainly buy her hair, to which the mam replies that she will have to see the first. Della lets down her hair, and also Madame Sofronie uses her twenty dollars because that it. Requesting just that the mam make the procedure “quick,” Della agrees to market her hair. She safety the following two hours searching for the perfect gift for Jim and also finally decides ~ above a an easy but tasteful platinum watch chain. She remarks the the clock chain suits Jim perfectly, together it is understated yet undeniably valuable. As soon as the chain is attached to Jim’s watch, the will be able to proudly present off his prized possession without being ashamed that the battered leather strap he at this time uses in location of a chain. 

Della rushes home, elated through her purchase. She very closely curls and also styles her shorn hair but is disappointed with the results, remarking that she looks choose a “Coney Island chorus girl.” She starts to issue that Jim will certainly be upset that her hair is gone. As soon as she hears Jim pull close the apartment, she stands next to the door and also prays that he will certainly still find her attractive. 

Jim beginning the apartment and also immediately stares in ~ Della through an inscrutable expression top top his face. Della throw herself right into his arms and also exclaims that she has sold her hair due to the fact that she “couldn’t have actually lived with Christmas” there is no buying that a worthy present. She reassures Jim that her hair grow “awfully fast” and pleads through him to “be happy.” Jim, seemingly in a daze, asks Della if she has actually truly cut off she hair and also looks around the room nearly as if trying to find the lost tresses. Della nervously confirms that she has indeed marketed her hair, however she reassures Jim the she is quiet the very same person also though her hair is gone. After all, she marketed her hair so that she might give Jim a nice gift.

Jim, coming the end of his trance, pulls Della right into an take on and reassures her the he loves she no issue what. He climate pulls a package out of his coat and also tells Della that she will recognize his reaction as soon as she opens it. Della eagerly opens up the package and is elated to uncover that it contains a pair of beautiful tortoise covering combs that she had actually long admired in a shop window. She elation turns to hysteria together she realizes that her hair is gone, however she tearfully speak Jim that her hair will grow ago quickly. 

Eager to give Jim his gift, Della rises from she seat and presents the clock chain to Jim. However, rather than acquisition out his watch together Della requests, Jim rather sits under on the couch and tells Della the they must put away their presents, due to the fact that they are “too nice come use,” provided the couple’s existing circumstances. He then describes that he offered his clock in order to afford Della’s combs. The story ends v the narrator commenting top top the nature the gift-giving and also generosity. Though the narrator describes Della and also Jim together “foolish,” he also proclaims that amongst those who give and receive gifts, they space the wisest.

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