Gift Of Magi Essay

1683 words - 7 pages

There are several themes in the story:Love knows no bounds.Sacrifice as proof of wisdom.Wealth is not a material thing, butlove that is spiritual.Femininity is great power.The events in the story take place in NewYork City in a very modest apartment and in ahair shop down the street from the apartment.O. Henry sketches the flat with just enoughdetail to convey it's image: cheap, sparselyfurnished, broken mailbox and doorbell.Everything was grey: Della "looked out dully ata grey cat walking a grey fence in a greybackyard". It is also a case of asyndetonbecause the conjunction "at" in "walking a greyfence" is omitted. From the "gas" which Dellalights and gadgets she has: a stove and curlingirons, it can be said that the story is set aboutthe time O. Henry wrote it - the first decade ofthe 20 th century). The setting is described indetails and it contributes to the vision ofpoverty and hard life of the young family. Thesetting of the events is realistic. Porter does notmention New York by name, but he refers toConey Island, the city's most famousamusement park, located in the borough ofBrooklyn. O. Henry also mentions that Della hadworshipped the combs for long in a Broadwaywindow. This is another proof that events takeplace in New York. The action takes place on aChristmas Eve. The drabness of the setting inwhich Jim and Della live create a contrast withthe atmosphere of Christmas and the warmthand richness of their love for each other.From the very first line of the story wenotice the usage of such graphical means ascapitalization: " ONE DOLLAR AND EIGHTY-SEVEN CENTS. THAT WAS ALL. AND SIXTYCENTS of it was in pennies". It is used to drawour attention to the main problem - lack ofmoney. The usage of the pronoun "one" insteadof "her" in the following sentence: "Penniessaved one and two at a time by bulldozing thegrocer and the vegetable man and the butcheruntil one's cheeks burned with the silentimputation of parsimony that such close dealingimplied" give an utterance a more generalcharacter and underline Della's state when shehad to ask money. It was hard for her and shefound herself in an awkward situation. There isan epithet: "silent imputation of parsimony". Italso stresses that though Della was strong byher nature: she was "bulldozing" but she wasalso timid. The inversion: "Three times Dellacounted it" underline how thrifty and carefulDella was. There are constant repetitions of thephase: "one dollar and eighty-seven cents"which stress Della's hopelessness. A repetitionof adjectives "grey": "…looked out dully at agrey cat walking a grey fence in a greybackyard" helps to create the atmosphere ofsadness. Anticlimax: "life is made up of sobs,sniffles, and smiles" describe the reality of life".Another epithet: "beggar description" which isthe combination on N1+N2, with N1 performingthe function of an adjective describing the flatin which the Dillinghams lived and underlinetheir poverty. The periphrasis: "mortal finger"stands for "person,...

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