The Gift of the Magi

Katelyn Vallejo, Corey Balfour, Mohid Saeed, Aidan Goldman

About the Author

O. Henry

-O. Henry was born as William Sydney Porter in 1862 in North Carolina

-His mother died of tuberculosis when he was three

-O. Henry moved to Texas when he was 20 years old

-In Texas, O. Henry fell in love with Athol Estes, who was then suffering from Tuberculosis

-They eloped and had a daughter

-Porter worked at a bank and was accused of embezzlement

-After that, he started his weekly, The Rolling Stone.

-The Rolling Stone failed and he eventually started writing for the Houston Post

-He was still being accused of embezzlement and fled to the Honduras

-Athol became deathly ill, so he came back to Texas to see her and surrendered to the court and was sentenced five years in prison

-It was in 1902, and after his wife's death that O. Henry moved to New York City and started working on his short stories

-O. Henry's short stories are known for their plot twist endings, The Gift of the Magi being the most famous of them all

-In 1910 O. Henry died.

Narrative Concepts


Irony lies in the fact she cut her hair to buy Jim's present. She was willing to sacrifice something of worth to get him something nice. Her cutting her hair made his gift to her useless. And him selling his watch to buy her combs making her gift useless.


The symbolism comes from the poor setting itself. Della and Jim are a young couple who live pay check to pay check, barely scraping by. They're very poor. But their love is the most important thing to them. Their love is selfless. Their love is "rich" in each other. And that's all that matters.


One of the main themes of this story is love, selflessness, and sacrifice. Loving somebody is willing to give them your all, and them seeing you at your absolute worst. It takes place in the Christmas season which is all about giving. There are many themes that can be associated with this story.

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