Why Does O Henry Call His Story the Gift of the Magi? “The gift of the Magi” is a famous short story by O. Henry. It may be mistaken to be a fairy tale when it is given that name. However, O. Henry calls his story “The gift of the Magi” because he wants to emphasize the meaning of the gift and show his love to the characters: Jim and Della. The meaning of the gift is emphasized in the story. It is the gift from the heart that is more valuable than anything. O. Henry illustrates the meaning of the gift through the love of Della and Jim. With love, they can give their lover anything they have.
Della is willing to sell her precious hair to buy Jim a platinum chain. Jim is willing to sell his precious watch to buy Della a tortoiseshell comb. Living in a very poor condition can not prevent Jim and Della from giving their sweetheart a Christmas gift-a gift that they hope it can make their lover happy. A gift is important and valuable only when it derives from the compassion, from the heart. The gifts in the story turn out to be useless in the purpose of using, but it is priceless in the purpose of bringing happiness. With this meaning, Jim and Della are not only the Magi for each other, but also the Magi for all the readers.
That is one of the reasons why the title “The gift of the Magi” is matched. O. Henry gives all his heart for the characters: Jim and Della. At the end of the story, his love for the characters is expressed clearly through his words “The Magi, as you know, were wise men…And here I have lamely related to you the chronicle of two foolish children in a flat who most unwisely sacrificed for each other the greatest treasures of their house”. O. Henry admires the characters for their bravery, their sacrifice and foolishness in love. With his caring for the characters, O.
Henry portrays Jim and Della like the Magi who brings gift and happiness for others. Happiness is the value which people never stop trying to find in their life. It is depicted in an emotional way in the story: love can create magic and happiness. Readers can feel Jim and Della’s love spreading, shining in the story. It makes the readers also “fall in love” with Jim and Della. Without love and sympathy for the characters, O. Henry could not have portrayed such a successful and emotional love story. That is one of the reasons why he calls his story “The gift of the Magi”.