The Gift Of Magi - Group Presentation

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Deeksha Raina (A2305213046) Mandvi Kacker (A2305213487) Amaan Ullah (A2305213020)

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BY: o’ henry

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: William Sidney Porter wrote under the pen-name of O’Henry. He was an American short story writer known for witty , clever play and weaving of words. He spent his free time reading, listening to tales of West and studying French, German and Spanish. The author has a unique style of writing. The story is a third person omniscient narrative. The entire story is told through Della to the extent that Jim’s reactions are to be read through Della. The pitch is purely emotional and the narrative is taut, purposeful and absolutely linear for it does not stray away from what it has to convey. O’Henry’s style of writing keeps the reader elevated from the beginning to the end. No surprise that the short story is timeless and for that reason sounds interesting generation after generation!

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Imagine 1 Dollar 87 Cents for that is what Della Dillingham Young was in possession of so as to buy a present for her beloved Jim. Next day is Christmas. Faced with such a situation Della bursts into tears on the couch. It is from here that the narrator picks up the opportunity to tell us more about the situation of Jim and Della. In a nutshell, they live in a shabby flat and their poverty is pronounced. But then, love is another thing of which there is no dearth between the two of them. Infact they have fantastic bond with each other.

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Della recovers and quickly tip toes to the mirror. She lets her hair down to examine it- they are beautiful, brown and flow down below her knees. It’s a treasure in more than one ways for the two of them. Having taken a close look at her hair, Della puts it back up, can’t hold a tear down her cheek and bundles her hair on top of her head. Decision taken swiftly, it seems, for she leaves the flat and walks straight to Madame Sofroinie’s hair goods shop. Strikes a bargain with a heavy heart and picks up 20 dollars in exchange of her golden locks.

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Della now had 21.7 dollars in her kitty. With added budget, Della goes shopping for Jim with a pre decided gift – an elegant, platinum watch chain for his watch. Picks up the 21 d ollar tag item, feels excited and saunters her way back home. Reaches for the curling iron to make her short hair presentable. With her best efforts , she feels that Jim will not approve of it. But then, she has managed a good present for him. Done with her hair, she proceeds for preparing dinner. As the clock strikes seven, Della greets Jim at the door who looks fixedly at her wondering where her hair is gone! She is not able to read his expression.

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After a while, Jim presents his gift to Della. As she opens the gift, she is able to understand Jim’s reaction, only she bursts into tears on seeing the fancy combs that she had been wanting to purchase for ages. Alas! Now she has no hair to use them for. Jim nurses Della out of her sobs. Finally it’s Della’s time to present her gift. Jim stumped, smiles and falls back on the couch. He has sold his watch to buy Della’s combs! Jim suggests to put their presents away and have dinner.

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Narrator pulls down the curtain by telling the reader that Della and Jim are the wisest of everyone who give gifts. They are the magi! Magi are skilled magicians, astrologers. The word is most commonly used in Christian circle to denote the three wise men who came from East to Jerusalem following a bright star, to worship the infant Jesus. The magi were the first people to symbolically acknowledge Jesus and are seen as personifications of generosity and dedication. The magi are known for the respect of spiritual light and rejection of spiritual darkness.

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CHARACTER APPRECIATION: Della- Della or Mrs. James Dillingham Young is a young housewife in New York City .She loves her husband a lot and is an emotional woman. She is financially poor and spends all her day in her flat, as the “mistress of the home”. Her flat is very old and shabby. She is an attractive blond woman with long hairs which falls below her knees when she opens them, which are also her pride possession. She wants to buy a Christmas present for her love Jim but can’t as she i sn’t having much money. She’s been saving money for months and even has faced the humiliation of pinching pennies at stores. According to her, Jim deserves the best and something unique. And to achieve this goal she sells out her hair. Although she sheds a tea r or two yet bounces back thinking that Jim will feel good. She’s worried he won’t find her pretty anymore. This shows her devotion and the depth of love. She is loving, kind, incredibly unselfish and eager to please her husband.

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James- James Dillingham Young, Della’s husband is a thin and serious man just twenty-two years old with only $20 a week wages. Although tired and stressed having burdened by a family yet he is a kind and loving husband. He is very punctual because of the beautiful gold watch which has been his pride possession as it was gifted by his grandfather. Just like Della, Jim is devoted and expresses his love by selling the watch to buy fancy combs for Della’s hair as his Christmas gift for her. He’s unselfish and adores his wife.

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IRONY IN THE STORY: Irony is defined as the expressing a meaning by using the language which signifies something opposite. The biggest example of irony in the case of Jim and Della is their self-sacrificing acts. They both sacrificed their precious possessions so as to enrich the other person’s life. However, the gifts turn out to be useless. Della can’t wear combs in short hair and Jim can’t use his watch chain as he no longer owns the watch. The story presents an example of situational irony where no one knows how the story is going to end!

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HYPERBOLE: This expression is present when truth is exaggerated for creating a humorous effect. Eg.) Queen of Sheba and King Solomon would be envious of Della/Jim’s possessions. METAPHOR: Comparison between two unlike things/people who share similar qualities is defined as metaphor. Eg .) comparison between Jim/Della and the Magi!

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PRESENTED BY: AMITY UNIVERSITY,NOIDA 3CSE1 (2013-17) DEEKSHA RAINA A2305213046 MANDVI KACKER A2305213487 AMAAN ULLAH A2305213020

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