Theme and Narrative in 'The Gift of the Magi'

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Theme and Narrative Elements in the Short Story ENG 125 Introductions to Literature August 8, 2012 The short story that I have selected to explore the meaning of theme and narrative elements is, “The Gift of the Magi” by O. Henry. The story begins with one dollar and eighty–seven cents that’s all Della Dillingham Young has to purchase a present for her dearly loved husband, Jim and the following day will be Christmas. The focal theme of O. Henry’s “The Gift of the Magi” is of love and unselfishness. Additionally, O. Henry uses point of view and satire to absorb the reader and give us the chance to contemplate the factual meaning of a gift. To begin with, the point of view that is exploited in this literary work is the third-person omniscient. We know this point of view is being used because O. Henry is the outside speaker who is well informed and communicates the thoughts and feelings of the characters. Moreover, the third-person omniscient point of view is used constantly though out the short story, “The Gift of the Magi”. This increases to the consequence of the storyline theme by setting the tone of anticipation by building up to the circumstances and unwritten insincerity. The tone was set by O. Henry through his tactic to the status quo irony by letting us think in the beginning of the story that Della is modestly going to sell her hair to give her husband Jim a Christmas gift. Conversely, we soon find out that this is not an unpretentious give-and-take of Christmas gifts. Though, as it turns out, Della sells her hair to get her Jim a handsome chain for the watch that he no longer keep because he sold it to buy Della the hair combs that she has always wanted but can no longer use because she sold all of her hair. This circumstances irony creates a spiral to the story and encourages the use of uncertainty and irony. The reader is made

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