An Analysis of the Stories Christmas by Injunction and The Gift of the Magi by O’Henry

Christmas is one of the most wonderful times of the year. Love, joy, and happiness are

filled in the air. “Christmas by Injunction” and “The Gift of the Magi”, by O’Henry, shows what Christmas is all about. These short stories both share similarities and differences. They both

teach how important it is to give.

“The Gift of the Magi” is about Della and Jim, a very poor couple. Della counted one dollar and eighty-seven cents (Henry 1). And the next day would be Christmas (Henry 1). Della realizes one dollar and eighty-seven cents were not enough to buy her love a gift. She weeps. Della eventually arrives at a place called, “Mne. Sofronie. Hair Goods of All Kinds” (Henry 2). Della has beautiful hair. She asks the store owner Madame to buy her hair. Madame gives Della twenty dollars for her hair. Now Della has enough money to buy Jim a gift. Della buys Jim a chain for his watch. Jim buys Della combs for her long beautiful hair. This short story is about sacrifices to express their love for one another.

“Christmas by Injunction” is about a wealthy man named Cherokee. Cherokee was a civic father of Yellowhammer (Henry 1). Cherokee wanted to share his wealth with others. This Christmas Cherokee decides to spoil all the kids in his town with gifts. Cherokee tells Baldy, the mail carrier, about his gracious idea. Baldy realizes Yellowhammer only had adults and no kids. Instead of ruining his idea with the bad news Baldy and Trinidad search for kids outside of their town. Many parents turned them down.

Eventually, they found a ten-year-old boy named Bobby. He was willing to go to Yellowhammer as long as he received a rifle. Bobby receives his rifle on Christmas day and Cherokee takes him back to his mother.

“Christmas by Injunction” and “The Gift of the Magi” has similarities. The time of the stories is the Christmas holidays. The theme is about giving to others during Christmas. The two stories show the true meaning of Christmas. It’s not all about receiving but giving what you can. The characters are different. Cherokee is a wealthy rich man who loves to give. However, Della and Jim are poor. They sacrifice their possessions for one another in order to exchange gifts. Love is in the air.

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