Love is More Important Than Money in The Gift of the Magi, a Short Story by O. Henry

He soon finds out that all he has is $1.87. He can barely buy a meal let alone Christmas presents for the people he loves. In “The Gift of the Magi” by O. Henry, Mr. and Mrs. James Dillingham Young do not have a lot of money. Della Dillingham Young counted her money three times the day before Christmas and all that she had was $1.87. Although she has saved up for months, expenses are high and she does not have enough to buy Jim anything nice and sterling. O. Henry’s use of irony in “The Gift of the Magi” develops the theme that love is more important than money. One case of irony in this story is situational irony.

Doing whatever she can to get money to buy her husband a gift, Della sells her most prized possession, her hair. For Della’s hair, she receives $20 in which she buys a platinum fob chain for James family watch. When James arrives home, he is stunned by the appearance of his wife. As Della opens her gift from James, the narrator says, “Beautiful combs, pure tortoise shell, with jeweled rims – just the shade to wear in the beautiful vanished hair” (Henry). This portrays situational irony because when Della cut off her hair and sold it, the readers were not expecting for her to get a gift specifically for her hair.

James was not surprised because he thought she looked bad, he was surprised because he spent a lot of money on a gift that now she cannot use. In addition, this develops the theme that love is more important than money due to the fact that James still loved his wife and thought she was beautiful no matter how much money he wasted, which also can be shown from Della’s point of view. Another case of irony in “The Gift of the Magi” similar to the previous, is also situational. Jim has a gold watch passed down from generations that he takes a lot of pride in. When Della spends her hair money on the chain for his watch, she is ecstatic that it had been made for Jim.

She describes it as quietness and value, just like her husband. When giving the gift to James, instead of showing excitement he just smiles and says, “I sold the watch to get the money to buy your combs” (Henry). This shows situational irony because Mr. and Mrs. Young both sold their possessions to get money and they both got gifts for what they sold. Not only can Della not use her combs, but Jim cannot use his chain either. This represents the theme because even though they only had one nice thing each and barely had money for living, they still decided that no matter what they would get each other a nice gift. Although there are clear cases of situational irony throughout the story, there are also some examples of dramatic irony that also advance the theme.

Lastly, the short story shows dramatic irony to further advance the theme that love overpowers money. Knowing Della cut off her hair and sold it, any gift that she got involving her hair should make her upset. When Della opens her gift from James, contrasting what would be thought, the narrator states, “But she hugged them to her bosom, and at length she was able to look up with dim eyes and a smile and say: ‘My hair grows back fast, Jim!” (Henry). This is showing dramatic irony because readers know that Della cannot use the combs bought for her, but she does not seem to care. As she opened the gift she seemed to forget that she no longer could use that gift.

Surprisingly, she put her sadness aside to appreciate the gift given to her demonstrating that, again, although money essential, love will override that in the long run. What is worse, being mad and losing who makes you happy or only having just enough money to live? To conclude, the use of irony in “The Gift of the Magi” is used quite often and introduces the theme that love is more important than money in all instances. Selling something you take pride in, getting a gift you cannot use, and having to put on an appreciating face when really you are disappointed, all show that whatever needs to be done for someone you love, is worth it. Because Della and James had so much love for each other, they were willing to leave all money problems aside to give the other something they deserved.

Calculate the price
Make an order in advance and get the best price
Pages (550 words)
$0.00
*Price with a welcome 15% discount applied.
Pro tip: If you want to save more money and pay the lowest price, you need to set a more extended deadline.
We know how difficult it is to be a student these days. That's why our prices are one of the most affordable on the market, and there are no hidden fees.

Instead, we offer bonuses, discounts, and free services to make your experience outstanding.
How it works
Receive a 100% original paper that will pass Turnitin from a top essay writing service
step 1
Upload your instructions
Fill out the order form and provide paper details. You can even attach screenshots or add additional instructions later. If something is not clear or missing, the writer will contact you for clarification.
Pro service tips
How to get the most out of your experience with MyhomeworkGeeks
One writer throughout the entire course
If you like the writer, you can hire them again. Just copy & paste their ID on the order form ("Preferred Writer's ID" field). This way, your vocabulary will be uniform, and the writer will be aware of your needs.
The same paper from different writers
You can order essay or any other work from two different writers to choose the best one or give another version to a friend. This can be done through the add-on "Same paper from another writer."
Copy of sources used by the writer
Our college essay writers work with ScienceDirect and other databases. They can send you articles or materials used in PDF or through screenshots. Just tick the "Copy of sources" field on the order form.
Testimonials
See why 20k+ students have chosen us as their sole writing assistance provider
Check out the latest reviews and opinions submitted by real customers worldwide and make an informed decision.
Business and administrative studies
Thank you for your hard work and effort. Made a 96 out of 125 points Lacked information from the rubic
Customer 452773, October 27th, 2023
fin571
EXCELLEN T
Customer 452773, March 21st, 2024
Criminal Justice
The paper was not accused of plagiarism and was written very well. I will let you know the grade once it is graded. Thank you
Customer 452671, April 26th, 2021
Business and administrative studies
excellent work
Customer 452773, March 9th, 2023
Business and administrative studies
Excellent work ,always done early
Customer 452773, February 21st, 2023
Business and administrative studies
excellent, got a 100
Customer 452773, May 17th, 2023
Human Resources Management (HRM)
excellent job
Customer 452773, June 25th, 2023
Humanities
Thank youuuu
Customer 452729, May 30th, 2021
DATA565
The support team was late responding , my paper was late because the support team didn't respond in a timely manner. The writer of the paper finally got it right but seems there was a problem getting the revisioin to me.
Customer 452773, April 7th, 2024
Human Resources Management (HRM)
excellent job
Customer 452773, July 17th, 2023
Leadership Studies
excellent job
Customer 452773, July 28th, 2023
ACC543MANAGERIALACCOUNTINGANDLEGALASPECTS
excellent
Customer 452773, January 25th, 2024
11,595
Customer reviews in total
96%
Current satisfaction rate
3 pages
Average paper length
37%
Customers referred by a friend
OUR GIFT TO YOU
15% OFF your first order
Use a coupon FIRST15 and enjoy expert help with any task at the most affordable price.
Claim my 15% OFF Order in Chat
Close

Sometimes it is hard to do all the work on your own

Let us help you get a good grade on your paper. Get professional help and free up your time for more important courses. Let us handle your;

  • Dissertations and Thesis
  • Essays
  • All Assignments

  • Research papers
  • Terms Papers
  • Online Classes
Live ChatWhatsApp