The Gift of the Magi Questions and Answers

The Gift of Magi Questions Answers


Q1. What is the central idea of “The Gift of Magi”?


Ans. Love, generosity, and the various definitions of wealth and poverty are central themes in “The Gift of the Magi,” in which a poor, loving young couple sell the only valuable things they own to give each other special Christmas gifts. Della Young sells her beautiful hair to buy Jim a gold watch chain, and Jim sells his heirloom watch to buy Della some hair combs.

These gifts are useless, in one sense; Della cannot wear her combs without her hair, and Jim, without his watch, cannot use his watch chain. However, Jim’s remark, is also a comment on the value of the gifts. They are too nice not only because of the money they represent but also because of the sacrificial love they represent. Self-sacrifice in the name of love is the wisest gift.



Q2. How much did she save for Christmas?


Ans. Della saved one dollar and eighty seven cents through bargaining while buying meat and food. She saved money through careful buying only because she wanted to purchase Christmas gift for Jim.



Q3. Why did Della sell her hair?


Ans. When Della found no other way to get money for Jim’s gift, she started weeping desperately. During the same moment, the idea of selling hair came to her mind, thus she rushed to Sofronie’s Shop; who was a large, white and cold-eyed woman and bought Della’s hair for twenty dollars.



Q4. Why Della did selected gold chain for Jim?


Ans. Della chose gold watch chain for Jim because it had both quietness and value like Jim, and was made of pure material. Moreover, Jim‟s watch had never a good chain and he always avoided to take out watch from his pocket in public places.



Q5. Why did they want to present gifts to each other?


Ans. Jim and Della had sacrificial love for each other and they did not want to celebrate Christmas without presenting gifts. Thus, both sold their most valuable gifts for each other.



Q6. What was the wisdom in selling the most valuable things?


Ans. In “The Gift of the Magi,” O. Henry tells the story of Jim and Delia Young, a poor young couple who wanted to buy each other special Christmas gifts, which ironically cancel each other out because Della sold her hair to buy Jim a chain for his watch, which he in turn had sold to buy her a fine set of combs for her hair. Despite the fact that these gifts are now useless, Jim and Delia have given each other the greatest gift of all, which the narrator compares to the gifts given to the Christ child by the wise men, or magi: selfless love. Their love for each other is unlimited.

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