Symbolism In O Henry's The Gift Of The Magi

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In the short story, “The Gift of the Magi”, written by, O' Henry, the theme is, when a person truly loves someone they are willing to sacrifice just about anything to see a loved one happy. Such message was demonstrated in the story through the usage of the following literary devices: irony, symbolism, and diction to set a tone. Irony is when the opposite of what is expected does not happen. Symbolism is a person, place, or thing that suggests more than its literal meaning. Diction is the word choice used by an other, leading to the tone or felling in the atmosphere. Through the usage of a number of examples for each literary devices, O' Henry is able to demonstrate the deeper meaning of his short story. O' Henry's short story begins with an explanation of the two main characters life style. Jim and Della Dillingham live in a simple apartment and did not have much money. The only thing that was of any value to them were their prized possessions. Jim's being a gold pocket watch which belonged to his father and his grandfather and Della's was her long lustrous hair. It was…show more content…
In saying that “Three times Della counted it. One dollar and eighty-seven cents. And the next day would be Christmas. There was clearly nothing to do but flop down on the shabby little couch and howl.” (O' Henry, 184) In saying the amount of times Della recounted the money shows how upset and desperate to have more because she knew Christmas was the next day. “Tomorrow would be Christmas Day, and she only had a dollar and eighty-seven cents with which to buy Jim a present.” (O' Henry, 185) “Only a dollar and eighty-seven cents to buy a present for Jim. Her Jim” (O' Henry, 185) With the repetition of using a dollar and eighty-seven cents, O' Henry is demonstrating how little the character has to give. When he says “Her Jim” he is emphasizing on how he is her's, her lover, whom she cares deeply

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