This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Gift Of The Magi And Two Thanksgiving Day Gentlemen By O. Henry

1724 words - 7 pages

To understand the characters in O. Henry stories we must understand what motivates each character to do the things they do. How stories that seem similar and have a common theme can change drastically when we begin to analyze their subtle differences. The O. Henry stories “The Gift of the Magi” and “Two Thanksgiving Day Gentlemen,” both follow a similar theme. The stories are about sacrifices that people make in order to give someone a better outcome. The tone and meaning of each story is changed, however, when we begin to focus on why the character chose to make the sacrifice. People make sacrifices for all different reasons, either because of love, guilt or believing they will receive ...view middle of the document...

“Two Thanksgiving Day Gentlemen” is also a story about people who make sacrifices. A gentleman, who from all evidence in the story seems to be a wealthy man who every year treats another gentleman, Stuffy, to a Thanksgiving feast. In fact the gentlemen saves up all year and even goes as far as to not to eat for the last three days before Thanksgiving so he will be able to afford to give Stuffy a wonderful Thanksgiving meal. As Stuffy waits for the old gentlemen, two wealthy women invite him in for a Thanksgiving feast. Stuffy, feeling it would be rude not to accept, eats the Thanksgiving meal they prepare. Stuffy is now bloated from the food he has just eaten, but when the old gentlemen comes to take Stuffy for his meal, he accepts and eats once more. Stuffy, having eaten too much, collapses and is taken to the hospital. Hearing of Stuffy's condition, the old gentleman goes to the hospital, where Stuffy tells him that he got sick because he had eaten a Thanksgiving meal prior to the meal he had with him. In this story several people are making sacrifices, but the outcome of the story has become more a cautionary tale than being one about the spirit of the holidays.
In each story the motivation to make the sacrifice are quite different. Della and James do it for love. The wealthy women who fed Stuffy may have felt guilt for having so much while Stuffy has very little. The old gentleman may make the sacrifice for the same reasons the wealthy women do but it may also because he remembered a time when he was struggling and people helped him. The holiday season gave him an opportunity to return the good that those in his past had graciously gave him during the holiday season. A line in the beginning of the story gives us some evidence that the old gentlemen actions are motivated by his sentimental soul, “There is one day when all we Americans who are not self-made go back to the old home to eat saleratus biscuits and marvel how much nearer to the porch the old pump looks than it used to” (O. Henry 276). This explains why old gentlemen felt the need to help a man he hardly knows. In this story, remembering how things use to be, gives him a connection to his fellow man. What motivates someone to make sacrifice tells us a lot about that person. Sacrifices made because of love seem more romantic and selfless; other reasons seem more arbitrary. So if a sacrifice is made because of guilt and shame does that somehow make the sacrifice less meaningful?
The wealthy women in “Two Thanksgiving Day Gentlemen” sacrifices were less meaningful because their motivations were not as honorable. These differences change our perception of who these women really are. The wealthy women did not have to save up or give up something to feed Stuffy, so saying that they really made a sacrifice or they were just people sharing what they already had would not be out of their character. Every year during the holiday seasons wealthy people give to those less...

Find Another Essay On The Gift of the Magi and Two Thanksgiving Day Gentlemen by O. Henry

Comparison Essay On "gift Of The Magi" And "the Necklace"

1299 words - 5 pages Comparison Essay The two short stories, "The gift of the Magi" written by O. Henry and "The necklace written by Guy de Maupassant are both composed of two young, beautiful women Mathilde and Della. Even though they are in different composed stories that have similar characteristics that convey throughout the story such as, they are both emotionally and financially depressed, have loving husbands, and both want to achieve something in an

The Gift of the Magi Theme Analysis

939 words - 4 pages Jim went through a lot in order to show their love and make sure the other had a gift they would cherish, and to do this they had to make a major sacrifice because of their poverty- selling the item of theirs they loved. O`Henry is a talented author who has many stories and novels with distinct and ideal themes. Some say that the situation in “The Gift of the Magi,” was the same in the end as it was in the beginning. However, the narrator suggests that their act of love and sacrifice has added value to their relationship.

Analysis of The Duel by O. Henry

729 words - 3 pages . people who aren’t from our city don’t know what it’s like to live here, they don’t understand what it takes out of someone to constantly put up with the stench, the noise, the exorbitant prices of everything & the long unending winters. In the duel written by When O Henry (real name William Sydney Porter) which depicts the lives of two non-natives who emigrated to the big apple from a city located near the west coast. One studied business the

"The Two Gentlemen of Verona" by William Shakespeare

525 words - 2 pages Proteus. Upon arriving at court, she witnesses Proteus and Thurio wooing Silvia.The banished Valentine, while traveling to Mantua, is apprehended by a group of outlaws. The outlaws, all of whom are banished gentlemen as well, demand Valentine to become their king. Since they threaten to kill him if he refuses, Valentine accepts. Silvia and Julia, who is disguised as the page Sebastian, meet when Julia delivers the ring Proteus had given her to

Essay explaining the themes of The gift of the Magi

988 words - 4 pages Honors English The Gift of the Magi Love can make you give up your most prized possession. “The Gift of the Magi” by O. Henry, is about a young couple who sacrifice their most prized possessions to give one another the best gift. Even if they were living through tough times and the money was very thorough Jim and Della both tried their best to afford a nice gift for each other. They find out that their love for one another is more important

The lesson in The Gift of the Magi

1441 words - 6 pages surprising end which bears a sense of endlessness. All these characteristics of a good short story are fulfilled in the short story of O Henry's The Gift of the Magi. The story contains Porter's characteristic ironical twist at the end that is surprising and at the same time striking to the readers. Jim and Della's bold self sacrifice for the sake of love comes unexpectedly to the readers, but none the less convincing and admirable. O. Henry (William

Hearty Gifts such as the Della and Jim´s in The Gift of the Magi

819 words - 4 pages The story of “The Gift of the MAGI” by O. Henry is about a couple, Della and Jim, who trying to make each other happy by buying gift in Christmas day. Unfortunately, they are very poor, and the only valuable things they have are Della’s beautiful hair and Jim’s gold watch. Since Della does not have enough money to buy Jim a gift, she sells her hair. After shopping in too many places, Della buys Jim a chain for his watch. She is sad for her hair

What major similarities do “The Necklace” and “The Gift of the Magi” share? - english - essay

612 words - 3 pages doing here," said Dylan Mom replied, “I’m here because you need to make new friends so I’m putting you on a sports team.” “No please mom don’t do this to me,” Dylan replied with anger. “No Dylan you’re doing this, I’m tired of you complaining about you having no friends and not wanting to go to school every day. I’m putting you on the football team and that’s finalized. Now go on to your first class before your late,” said Dylan’s mom. Dylan marched

The Cop and the Anthem by O. Henry

1065 words - 5 pages bill. But as seen in previous examples, Soapy does not get the punishment he expects and hopes for. In fact, Soapy asks the restaurant owners why they do not call the police, but instead the call their security and, “Neatly upon his left ear on the callous pavement two waiters pitched Soapy. He arose joint by joint, as a carpenter’s rule opens, and bear the dust from his clothes. Arrest seemed but a rosy dream” (O. Henry 22). Soapy continues to be

thanksgiving day it the best!

1310 words - 6 pages town's range and far beyond land that travels its way to the west. There is always a gorgeous sunset every night, where the sky turns purple, the clouds, orange, and the sun golden. There is only one time of year this happens and it is before, after or during thanksgiving break. If you picked a season that you engaged your greatest thoughts. And what seemed the most radiant to you would it be the hot summers to do whatever each day, the extravagant

The last leaf by O. Henry

532 words - 2 pages Lohmann Barbara- The last leaf by O. HenryThe last leaf by O. Henry: A question of Hope and selfless sacrificeO. Henry was an American writer who is known as "The master of the short stories". His writings are characterized by a witty narration with surprising endings. They usually talk about ordinary people and take place in New York City. In "The last leaf" the author uses two central ideas: hope and selfless sacrifice, to show that a diseased

Similar Essays

A Comparison Of The Gift Of The Magi, By O. Henry And Country Lovers, By Nadine Gordimer

2519 words - 10 pages The purpose of this paper is to compare and contrast two stories. I have chosen The Gift of the Magi, by O. Henry and Country Lovers, by Nadine Gordimer to accomplish this assignment. My intentions are to compare the author’s writing style, their differences in setting and theme, and note similarities as well. I will focus this paper on not only technical aspects of the author’s writing style, but their use of symbolism in their writing as well

"The Gift Of The Magi" By O. Henry: The Moral Of The Story

803 words - 3 pages The definition of love is " a deep, tender, ineffable feeling of affection and solicitude toward a person." In "The Gift of the Magi," the two main characters possess a love for each other that is so strong that they are willing to sacrifice their greatest treasures for each other, with no regrets. Also, they do not obsess over superficial things like appearances. Therefore, the moral of the story is that it is not the material things that

Two Short Stories: The Gift Of Magi And A Telephone Call

1300 words - 6 pages In the short stories “The Gift f Magi” by O. Henry and “A telephone Call” by Dorothy Parker, two women are troubled by how their significant others view them. While O. Henry’s Della is able to see that Jim is not touched, Parker’s narrator is left with uncertainty because her significant other does not call back, stuffing her with skepticism. In O. Henry’s “The Gift of Magi”, a young couple in love has to get surprise gifts for each other

Gift Of The Magi Analysis

855 words - 3 pages criticisms made by Current-Garcia, Peel and Voss, which all appreciate the significance Henry placed on both the concepts of romantic love and self-sacrificial love."The Gift of the Magi" concerns of the mutual self-sacrifice between husband and wife, evincing the notion that "love conquers all". 'O. Henry crystallized dramatically what the world in all its stored-up wisdom knows to be of fundamental value in ordinary family life. Unselfish love