"Gift of the Magi" revolves around a young couple, Della and Jim, who lack a lot in the way of material possessions and external amusements. The beginning of the story focuses on their poverty—the shabby couch, the lack of mirror, the eight-dollar flat, the broken doorbell. Despite this, the narrator adds that Jim always arrives home to be “greatly hugged. Which is all very good.” Their poverty doesn’t seem to affect their cozy home…(read full theme analysis)
Della’s main concern is that the money she’s saved by pinching pennies isn’t enough to buy Jim a worthy Christmas present. For her, the main obstacle that poverty poses to her happiness is its limitation of her expression of love.
After the twist ending, Jim sits back on the couch and smiles, even after it’s revealed that both their gifts are now useless. Because while the gift themselves have no purpose, the giving of the…(read full theme analysis)
“Gift of the Magi” constantly contrasts the idea of inner beauty and value with outside appearances. The story begins, for example, with a description of bleak surroundings (“a gray cat walking a gray fence in a gray background,” “shabby couch”) while hinting at a warm home life that brightens the exterior (Jim arrives home “to be greatly hugged”). When Della examines the watch chain, she also compares its exterior appearance and actual value to…(read full theme analysis)