Briefly analyse the characters of ‘The Gift of the Magi’.

The main character of the story ‘ The Gift of the Magi’ is a good looking pretty wife but also a helpless woman economically. Della is determined to sell her own locks for some dollars. This idea comes to her as she looks into a mirror. Her deep contemplation and sentiments of helplessness show how much she loves and

appreciates Jim and as a result she would like to offer him the best ” Many a happy hour she had spent planning for something nice for him: Something fine and rare and sterling, something just a little bit near to being worthy of the honour of being owned by Jim” This statement shows how much Della values Jim and portrays her deep love for him.

Jim is over burdened with the responsibilities of a family at the age of twenty- two. He has many needs that he cannot fulfill for himself and his family. “Poor fellow, he was only twenty-two- and to be burdened with a family! He needed a new over coat and he was without gloves”. Jim was able to forego all his needs to get Della her coveted combs which were definitely expensive. I Towards the end, Jim is equally surprised at Stella’s gift but he keeps his composure and responds with a smile. He tells Della that he had sold the watch to buy her the combs. The he proceeds to tell her that they should put away their Christmas gifts and save them for a later date.

Madame Sofronie, the owner of a hair shop is in sharp contrast to the two protagonists Jim and Della. She is ‘large’ ‘white’ and ‘chilly’. She is only concerned with the profit to be made from Della’s hair, without any concern for emotions. She represents the bold woman of the materialistic world.

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