We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
The Gift of the Magi

The Gift of the Magi


by O. Henry

Jim Timeline and Summary

  • We learn from the narrator that Jim – "Mr. James Dillingham Young" – is the much-loved husband of Della. He's poor.
  • He also has a nice gold watch.
  • Jim comes home to the flat at 7pm – he's always on time. Della is waiting for him.
  • Seeing Della's new look, Jim is shocked, and appears unable to believe that Della's hair is gone. Then he snaps out of it.
  • Jim gives Della her present, and tells her his shock will be explained when she opens it.
  • Della opens the present, finds the combs Jim has bought her for her (now missing) hair, and bursts into sobs.
  • Jim comforts her.
  • When Della gives Jim his present – the watch chain – he smiles and falls onto the couch. He sold his watch to buy her the combs, he says.