"The Gift of the Magi" is a short story by O. Henry first published in 1905. The story tells of a young husband and wife and how they deal with the challenge of buying secret Christmas gifts for each other with very little money.
Meet the Author: O. Henry
Read the story above and answer the following questions:
- You have been hired by the Two Row Times to write a brief summary of this story.
- If the story was written in 1908, do you think that $1.87 was a fair amount of money. Explain your answer.
- If a furnished room cost $8.00/week, approximately how much would a month, 1/2 year and a full year cost? Show you work and explain your answer. **Note that in 1914 1.87 is about $42.00; $8.00 is about $177 and $20 is about $442.
- Why might Mr. James D. Young have be paid less than he originally made. Explain your answer.
- If Jim’s gold watch had once belonged to his father’s father, how many generations old was the watch? Explain your answer.
- Read the following, so now Della’s beautiful hair fell about her, shining like a falling stream of brown water. It reached below her knee. It almost made itself into a dress for her. What is the author really trying to say.
- Instead of writing that Della's hair was long, why did the author choose to write the following, "Down fell the brown waterfall". What is her hair being compared to? Explain your answer.
- What is the author meanign when he writes, When Della arrived home, her mind quieted a little. She began to think more reasonably. She started to try to cover the sad marks of what she had done. Love and large-hearted giving, when added together, can leave deep marks. It is never easy to cover these marks, dear friends—never easy.
- How much is 40 minutes in terms of 1 hour. Explain your thinking.
- "It was a gold watch chain, very simply made. Its value was in its rich and pure material. Because it was so plain and simple, you knew that it was very valuable. All good things are like that." What does the author mean about good things being like that?
- What is the moral of this story?
- How would you rate this book out of ten. Explain your thinking.
In your opinion, how accurate is the Plot Diagram illustrated above. Justify your thinking.