The Lesson In The Gift Of The Magi

1441 words - 6 pages

As A Short StoryTo be perfect short story neatness, brevity and a significant incident or an aspect of character or an experience of some psychological moment is essential. Within its short frame work, it must have a beginning, middle and an end. There must be completeness in its structure. All the elements plot, character, dialogue, descriptions and background must be organically connected with each other. Generally a good story has a 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 Sydney Porter)

IntroductionThe Gift of the Magi one of the best-known American short stories, by celebrated American short-story writer William Sydney Porter, who wrote it under the pseudonym O.Henry and was published in 1906 in a collection of his short stories, The Four Million. Like The Furnished Room, and The Ransom of Red Chief, The Gift of the Magi also bears simple yet effective use of paradoxical coincidences to produce ironic endings. The story contains many of the elements for which O. Henry is widely known, including poor, working-class characters, a humorous tone, realistic detail, and a surprise ending. A major reason given for its enduring appeal is its affirmation of unselfish love. Such love, the story and its title suggest, is like the gifts given by the wise men, called magi, who brought gold, frankincense, and myrrh to the newborn Jesus.SettingWritten between 1905 and 1906, the story is close enough to everybody's heart. It is of universal significance of love and passion. The action takes place in the New York City, in a very unassuming flat, a drab, gray, and decaying flat. The occasion is the festive Christmas Eve. As Jim and Della's very humble abode brings out their poverty vividly, their selfless sacrifice of valuable possessions spiritualizes their love and makes them wise enough to call magi.Point of ViewThird Person (Omniscient)The story is told in the perspective of Della and much of the feelings of Jim are vague to us. The third person limited omniscient paints much of floating desires of Della and whenever Jim is off scene he can not be located in the story line. However, we can not miss that Jim and Della are presented in the story as an entity of love and union of true minds. Thus the feelings of Jim and Della will have to be the same that should not have to be repeated which might have spoiled the interest of the story.The Title from the Bible: Symbolism, Imagery & AllegoryThe importance and influence of the Bible in O' Henry's writing may be explained broadly in both textual and philosophical terms. The textual explanation is...

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