Nothing Can Compare

January 16, 2012
By , diamondale, MI
Sometimes we need to sacrifice for our loved ones. In “The Gift of the Magi” by O. Henry, two lovers, Della and Jim, don’t have enough money to get each other Christmas gifts. So they turn to their only resources, their prized possessions for which they would sell to obtain money. The theme of this story is that no possession can compare to the greatest gift of love.

Della’s very prized possession is her hair. She does not have enough money to buy the chain for the watch Jim had already possessed, but she wanted to get the chain so badly that she was desperate for the money. So she sold her hair to get the money to purchase the chain. As she awaits Jim’s return home that evening, her silent prayer is, “Please God, make him think that I am still pretty.”

Jim, wants to purchase a gift for Della, also. He wants to get her some combs for her beautiful, long hair. She had been admiring the combs in a window, on Broadway, for quite some time. He does not have enough money, either. So Jim proceeds to sell his watch that was given to him by his father and was very important to him. Then he purchases the combs with the money from the watch.

When they both get home, he sees that she has no hair. He does not say anything though. Then she gives him his gift. She later finds out that he doesn’t have the watch anymore. Then he gives Della her present. They were the combs that she had wanted so badly. Then the irony hits them.

Sometimes we need to sacrifice things for our own loved ones. People try to buy expensive gifts for the ones that they love, and they do not know that the best present you can give is yourself. The people in this story found this out through sacrifice. No possession can compare to the love that you share. O. Henry’s lesson is summed up in one sentence, “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.” “The Gift of the Magi,” by O. Henry





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