The Gift of the Magi Theme Analysis

Decent Essays

“My purpose is to show that in every human heart there is an innate tendency towards a respectable life; that even those who have fallen to the lowest depths in the social scale would, if they could, get back to the higher life…”(Rollins 7-8 ). O`Henry came up with this philosophy when writing his many different, entertaining stories. “The Gift of the Magi” was initially published in 1906 in O`Henry`s second collection of stories. “The Gift of the Magi” is a perfect story to illustrate how people do anything for the ones they love. The main characters each sell their most valued possession in order to buy the other the perfect Christmas present. They each bought the other something to complement their prized possession. Ironically, they had both sold their prized possession to get the other a gift.However, they bought gifts that were now useless to one another. Themes have some aspect of life, general truth, or moral that is shown throughout the story by the author. The themes in this short story really stand out to the reader. The way in which the two main characters demonstrate their selflessness for each other helps to emphasize the three major themes: poverty, love, and sacrifice. Poverty is a primary theme in O’Henry’s iconic short story. It begins at Christmastime and focuses on the couple`s poverty. The author provides a description of the small flat in which they live: “There was nothing to do but flop down on the shabby little couch and howl. ... A furnished flat

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