The Gift of the Magi


O. Henry

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Themes and Colors
Value Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
Sacrifice Theme Icon
Beauty Theme Icon
LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in The Gift of the Magi, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.
Love Theme Icon

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 gifts means everything: they now know that each one of them would sacrifice their most prized possessions for the other. Their love triumphs over material wealth and possessions. They gave to each other not objects, but love.

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Love ThemeTracker

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Love Quotes in The Gift of the Magi

Below you will find the important quotes in The Gift of the Magi related to the theme of Love.
The Gift of the Magi Quotes

The "Dillingham" had been flung to the breeze during a former period of prosperity when its possessor was being paid $30 per week. Now, when the income was shrunk to $20, though, they were thinking seriously of contracting to a modest and unassuming D. But whenever Mr. James Dillingham Young came home and reached his flat above he was called "Jim" and greatly hugged by Mrs. James Dillingham Young, already introduced to you as Della. Which is all very good.

Related Characters: Della, Jim
Related Literary Devices:
Page Number: 1
Explanation and Analysis:

Only $1.87 to buy a present for Jim. Her Jim. Many a happy hour she had spent planning for something nice for him. Something fine and rare and sterling--something just a little bit near to being worthy of the honor of being owned by Jim.

Related Characters: Jim
Page Number: 2
Explanation and Analysis:

Jim was never late. Della doubled the fob chain in her hand and sat on the corner of the table near the door that he always entered. Then she heard his step on the stair away down on the first flight, and she turned white for just a moment. She had a habit for saying little silent prayer about the simplest everyday things, and now she whispered: "Please God, make him think I am still pretty."

Related Characters: Della (speaker), Della, Jim
Related Symbols: Della’s hair, Jim’s gold watch
Related Literary Devices:
Page Number: 3
Explanation and Analysis:

And here I have lamely related to you the uneventful chronicle of two foolish children in a flat who most unwisely sacrificed for each other the greatest treasures of their house. But in a last word to the wise of these days let it be said that of all who give gifts these two were the wisest. O all who give and receive gifts, such as they are wisest. Everywhere they are wisest. They are the magi.

Related Characters: Della, Jim
Related Literary Devices:
Page Number: 5
Explanation and Analysis: