The Gift of the Magi
The Gift of the Magi
by O. Henry
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The Gift of the Magi Women and Femininity Quotes Page 1

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Quote #1

There was clearly nothing to do but flop down on the shabby little couch and howl. So Della did it. Which instigates the moral reflection that life is made up of sobs, sniffles, and smiles, with sniffles predominating. (2)

The first thing we see Della do is cry. This might make her seem a bit fragile and over-emotional. The narrator treats this with an air of gentle humor. This behavior might be seen as stereotypically feminine.

Quote #2

But whenever Mr. James Dillingham Young came home and reached his flat above he was called "Jim" and greatly hugged by Mrs. James Dillingham Young, already introduced to you as Della. (5)

Della stays in the flat while Jim works. Della's really the one responsible for creating that magical sense of "home." It's that sense of home that helps define their love for each other, and makes their poor little flat seem like a special place, isolated from the rest of the world.

Quote #3

Only $1.87 to buy a present for Jim. Her Jim. Many a happy hour she had spent planning for something nice for him. (6)

Della spends much of her time thinking about Jim. This could just show how much she loves him, or it could reveal how little of a life she has outside of Jim. Is Jim equally focused on Della? Since we don't know what Jim thinks about, it's hard to tell.

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