The Gift of the Magi The Gift of the Magi is a short Christmas story written by William Sydney Porter, otherwise known by his pin name O. Henry. The Gift of the Magi is a story about a young twenty-something couple who struggle to purchase each other gifts for Christmas with hardly any money. This story interested me the most because I can relate to this poor couple’s situation because I have been there myself during the holidays.
I felt a deep connection with the main character’s and I could feel there experiences. It was as if I where in the story itself.As stated in our course text, “When you read a piece of literature imaginatively and with mental vigor, you are stepping inside it, projecting your perspective across its landscape” (Clugston, 2010). By using a formalist approach to evaluate, A Gift of the Magi, I will clearly show what lesson the characters learned at the end of this story. The formalist approach to literature is described by Clugston in our text as “most widely used” this is because “it focuses on the form and development of the literary work itself” (Clugston, 2010).This approach uses 6 basic questions to back down the story.
These questions are: What makes the setting so memorable? Why was the plot intriguing? How were the characters described, contrasted, and developed? Was figurative language used to create a mood, to reveal theme? What point of view was used? And last but not least, in what ways do literary conventions and forms contribute to its appeal? What makes the setting so memorable to me is because, as I have already explained, I have been in this situation before.I know the pain you feel at the thought letting down the ones you love. I know the feeling of knowing that you have done your best to only fall short. As in the story, I too felt Della’s sentiments which were described as helplessness. Why was the plot intriguing? Well, I personally think the question should be did you find the plot intriguing? So, absolutely yes, I did find this plot intriguing.
I felt fully engaged and part of the story. I also could feel the emotion of the characters, especially at the end of the story. I was ompletely surprised by the revelation that they both where in some bizarre way thinking on the same page. I believe that the characters were described more from the perspective of their emotions then on their physical characteristics. I enjoyed how the author spent a lot of time conveying their emotions instant of describing their physical appearances because their physical descriptions would not have added that much more to the story or altered the outcome.
I feel that the story compared the main characters instead of using a contrast.To me this was evident throughout the story, through their struggles and sacrifices for each other, which is also where I think the character’s identities were developed. I feel the author did use figurative language in this story to create the mood and to also reveal the theme. An example of the author’s use of figurative language in this story is when time was described as having to “tripped by on rosy wings” (Clugston, 2010). I feel this statement set the mood by showing that Della was so excited and relieved to come up with some money that the time flow by.The theme was revealed by this same metaphor by showing Della’s sacrifice.
The Gift of the Magi used the point of view of the third-person. You can see this in how the author uses her or him. This is a good approach because it allows the author more flexibility to introduce multiple characters. It also helps with the story’s flow of time. In what ways do literary conventions and forms contribute to its appeal? A literary convention is, as according to the website Literary Terms, “a rule or practice based upon general consent and upheld by society at large” (Literary Terms, n.
d. . Everyone wants a happy ending. People remember and hold dear positive experiences over negative ones.
The message of “love conquers all” to me best describes the moral lesson of this story. To me it really just boils down to the fact that The Gift of the Magi is a classic love story about self sacrifice and love. References Clugston, R. W.
(2010). Journey into Literature. Retrieved from https://content. ashford.
edu/books/AUENG125. 10. 2/sections/sec5. 4 Literary Terms, (n. d. ).
Literary Terms. Retrieved from http://academic. brooklyn. cuny. edu/english/melani/lit_term. html