The Value of Love in “The Gift of the Magi” 1. Introduction. Introduce thesis: Short story written by O. Henry in which love is more important than any material item and the value of a gift lies in the sacrifice behind it, rather than its material value. Thesis: The main characters in “The Gift of the Magi” value love over material things.
II. Plot. A. Della and Jim are a married young couple living in an $8 a week apartment. 1. Della only has one dollar and eighty-seven cents saved to buy the perfect Christmas present for Jim. . Jim also wants to buy his wife a Christmas present. B. Both sell their sentimental possessions to have money to buy a Christmas gift for the other. 1. Della cutoff and sell her hair to buy a chain for Jim’s gold pocket watch. 2. Jim sells his gold pocket watch to buy a set of combs for Della. C. Comparison of Della and Jim’s personal possessions to King Solomon and Queen Sheba treasures. D. Both of them discover they have sacrificed their sentimental possessions to buy presents for each other.
E. Example of Jim’s hopeful character when he finds out about each other sacrifice, he sits down and smiles as he values love over material value. III. Characterization. A. Della – Young, affectionate, selfless and values sentiment. Della sacrifices her most loved possession, her hair, to buy a present for Jim. B. Jim – Young, quiet, hopeful, selfless and values sentiment. Jim sacrifices his most loved possession, his gold pocket watch, to buy a present for Della. C. Madame Sofronie – large woman, hair salon owner who buys Della’s hair, values money.
Madame Sofronie pays $20 for Della’s hair. IV. Conclusion. Della and Jim lose their most loved sentimental possessions and realize of their willingness to make sacrifices for each other declaring their love outweighs the possession of material things. The Value of Love in “The Gift of the Magi” “The Gift of the Magi”, a sentimental short love story written by O. Henry ends in a lesson about gift giving. During Christmas and other gift-giving seasons, people go through a lot of trouble to find the perfect gift to show the love to their loved ones.
People are often money oriented while gift giving, however what really matters is not the gift itself, but how far people go to show their love for each other. Hence, love is more important than any material item and the value of a gift lies in the sacrifice behind it, rather than its material value. The main characters in “The Gift of the Magi” value love over material things. The theme of this story is that people go as far as to sell their most loved sentimental possessions in order to buy presents for each other.
People are often money oriented, selfish, and greedy when gift gifting, but this story is not about having or not having money, instead it is about showing selfless love for each other. In this story, Della and Jim are a young couple with very little money to buy each other a Christmas present and both give up their most meaningful possessions to obtain the money to buy a present for each other. Della only had one dollar and eighty-seven cents to buy a present for Jim. Della cutoff and sells her hair and Jim sells his gold pocket watch that has been his father’s and grandfather’s to get the money to buy each other a Christmas present.
Della sells her hair for 20 dollars and she buys a chain for her husband’s gold pocket watch. Jim sells his watch and buys his wife an expensive set of combs for her hair. At the end, the gifts are useless as Jim has no use for the chain and Della has no use for the combs. The plot supports this theme because the plot develops as expected showing Della and Jim giving up their prized material possessions to buy the presents for each other showing that their love prevails over material value.
Indeed, it is reasonable to buy gifts to express love, but what really counts is the intent and not the monetary value of the gift. In this short story, the plot and its unexpected climax are essential to supporting the theme of people going as far as to sell their personal possessions, ignoring how much the possession mean to them in order to show the love for each other. Della’s and Jim’s possessions are valuable, since the narrator of “The Gift of the Magi,” compare their possessions to those treasures of King Solomon and Queen Sheba, suggesting Della’s and Jim’s sentimental possessions are very monetary valuable.
Yet, the true meaning of the gift giving is not the gift itself, but the sacrifice behind it, as Della and Jim give up what they prized most to show the love for each other. In addition, the climax is unexpected, when both Della and Jim discover each other sacrifice of their sentimental possessions to buy presents for each other and that the gifts they buy no longer have any use. Jim has a job, so I assumed Jim had the money to buy Della a gift. I expected Jim able to use the chain that Della buys him for his pocket watch.
However, Della and Jim give up their most loved sentimental possessions and the gifts they buy for each other no longer have any use. Today, people are often money oriented, selfish and greedy, while gift giving, but what should matter most according to this short story is the love expressed through the sacrifice of sentimental possessions rather than the gift giving of materialistic presents. As illustrated, at the end of the story when Jim smiles as he discovers each other sacrifices and says, “Let’s put our Christmas gifts away and keep ’em a while…
I sold the watch to get the money to buy your combs,” (“The Gift of the Magi – a Short Story’). The narrator suggests that Jim is not concerned with the presents that each one of them bought, but what matters to Jim and Della is that they now know that each would sacrifice their most prized possessions to please the other. They realize that having each other is worth much more than having the material possessions. They value their love and feelings over the material value. Indeed, the plot and its unexpected climax are essential to supporting the value of love over material things.
About the characters, the main characters are Della and Jim. However, some readers might argue that Della is the only main character. Della is young, affectionate and selfless. The story is about her finding the perfect Christmas present for her husband Jim. She feels hopeless because she only has $1. 87 to buy the gift. Della sells her most prized possession, her long hair, for $20 to buy a gift for Jim. Jim is a quiet young man that loves his wife and sell his most prized possession, his gold pocket watch, to buy a Christmas present for his wife. Madame Sofronie, owner of a hair salon, buys Della’s hair.
Her manner contrasts that of Della and Jim since she is only interested in monetary value. Della’s only worry is for Jim to love her just as much with short hair. Jim ensures Della that he loves her and that she still pretty with short hair when he says, “I don’t think there’s anything in the way of a haircut or a shave or a shampoo that could make me like my girl any less” (“The Gift of the Magi – a Short Story’). At last, Jim is asking Della to put away their gifts for a while, suggesting they will be able to use the gifts later, but for now, Della and Jim characters love each other and value their love more than material things.
At the end, Della and Jim lose their most loved sentimental possessions and learn how far they are willing to go to show their love for each other. Both of them realize that their love outweighs their lack of material possessions since they value love over material things. Their sacrifices of their personal possessions make them value each other more, prizing sentimental value over material value. Without a doubt, showing someone how much you love him or her is more valuable than any material item you may have.