Selfless Love, the Gift of the Magi Essay
O. Henry’s “The Gift of the Magi” is a timeless story of selfless love. At the beginning of this tale the reader is introduced to Della Young a wife who has saved every penny she can to get her husband Jim a wonderful Christmas present. Though she has tried to come up with more money all she had is a dollar and eighty seven cents, and she does not feel that this is sufficient and this troubles her deeply. The only conclusion that she comes to is to sell her hair.
Della knows that her hair is her best feature and that Jim takes great pride in it, but feels that her sacrifice will be worth it to have money for her husband’s gift. Della goes to a shop to cut and sell her hair for twenty dollars. She uses this money to buy a fob for Jim’s other prize possession, his pocket watch. When Jim comes home he is surprised by Della’s new look. At first she is afraid that he is upset by her short new hair and then Jim hands Della her gift. He has bought her beautiful tortoise shell hair combs.
Her answer to this is that her hair will grow back and gives Jim the fob for his watch. After Jim sees the gift that Della has sold her hair for he is reluctant to let her know that he cannot use it because to buy her the combs he has had to sell his pocket watch. This story shows the true meaning of selfless love. This young married couple had only thought of the others happiness when choosing the perfect gift. Even while Della was contemplating cutting off all her hair, she was not concerned about herself, only what Jim would think.
They both gave their most valuable possessions to insure the happiness of their spouse. “The Gift of the Magi” is told from the third-person omniscient point of view. Because of this the reader only knows the thoughts and actions of Della and has no idea that Jim is going through the same struggles as his wife. This story has been retold many times over the years and will be around for many more. Stories such as this that show true love, selfless love, are hard to find. That is why it has held a strong place in literature over the years.