The Gift of the Magi, by O. Henry Essay

1234 Words5 Pages
Stories of love and sacrifice abound in literature. Perhaps one of the most well known stories among teens and adults is the tale of a poor, young couple struggling to find the perfect Christmas gifts for each other using their very limited means. They each manage to get what they think is the perfect gift for the other, but only accomplish this by selling a prized possession which effectively makes the new gifts impractical. This bittersweet narrative, “The Gift of the Magi” by O. Henry, illustrates the moral idea that a person, motivated by nothing but love for another, can possess a willingness to give in a self-denying way which necessitates that the reader consider that wealth be measured by something more than having money…show more content…
The Magi most likely came a long distance from Persia and sacrificed much to present their costly gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh to the child. These gifts were esteemed not only because of their intrinsic value, such as the precious metal, gold, but also for their medicinal properties and were traditionally given to a king as a gift of honor. The Magi, also known as wise men or kings, are just that, wise men. They know the value of bringing the gifts to baby Jesus not because He needed gifts, but to show their devotion to Him. They brought these valuable gifts out of respect and love for the new Savior. Love is a defining force for Della and Jim too, overshadowing the poor condition of their finances. Jim and Della do not have much. They would most certainly be considered to be in the lower class, living in a little $8 a week flat in the city and going from a sufficient income of $30 a week to a less than adequate $20 a week with Jim in need of a new overcoat and pair of gloves (Henry). Henry articulates how their love for each other transforms their drab house and surroundings and gray circumstances into a warm and inviting refuge called home. “One dollar and eighty-seven cents. That was all Della had,” not nearly enough to get a gift worthy of her beloved Jim (Henry). She desires nothing but to please him and considers him worthy of something
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