The Gift – Unselfish Love
ENG 125 Introductions to Literature
Instructor: April MacGrotty
John E. Riggs
November 27, 2011
The Gift pg. 1
The timeless short story The Gift of the Magi, penned by O. Henry and first published in 1905 uses the dichotomy of wealth and poverty and brings a splendid account of the love and the treasured relationship between two young people bound to each other in austere point of time in history.
O. Henry takes the story reader to a time when that could transcend decades as there always seems to be dichotomy mentioned above. Times were challenging for the young couple and salaries reduced just meeting the eight dollar a week rent on the small furnished flat they occupied, with shabby furniture on the poorer side of town. The young couple, who knew better financial times, used Jim’s full name to bring an air of importance to their place in the building. Being Christmas Eve, the young couple was no doubt struggling to keep the basics of life, roof, heat, food available to sustain their meager physical existence. The dichotomy of wealth and poverty crosses the story reader’s path as the couple were quite wealthy, when it comes to the love and affection the young loving couple heaped on each other. O. Henry uses the bleak of winter to demonstrate that unselfish love and devotion can melt through the coldest of frigid nights.
Both Della and Jim demonstrate their unfathomed devotion in the quest of bringing each other a fitting gift for Christmas, something rare and cherished, both willing to go to the extreme in an unselfish act of love. Della had saved a whopping one dollar and eighty-seven cents over the previous months and was beside her that she would have no present worthy enough for her husband. Both were poorly dressed for the period and weather, with Jim needing a new overcoat and Della having an old brown coat and hat to wear. Their love for each other and quest for
The Gift – Pg 2
gifts, encouraged both...