Della, or Mrs. James Dillingham Young, a young housewife in New York City. Deeply in love with her husband, Della is distraught that Christmas Day is imminent and she has but a pittance to spend for a gift for him. Her husband's salary of $20 a week leaves little after living expenses are paid. Although her love for her husband is enough to sustain her even in this abject poverty, not being able to honor her husband with a worthy Christmas gift is simply too much to bear. She is overcome with tears of helplessness, but they pass as inspiration moves her to a creative solution to her dilemma. Della's one prideful possession in the midst of her humble circumstances, her long, lustrous hair, may be the means to secure a present that she can wholeheartedly give her beloved. Her willingness to sacrifice for him bespeaks the depth of her love.
*New York City. Crowded city in which the Youngs rent for eight dollars per month a second-story flat. It is furnished, but with obviously second-hand and outdated furniture. O. Henry skillfully evokes the shabbiness of the rented rooms and the building that contains them, calling attention to such details as the nonfunctional mailslot in the lobby and the broken doorbell. Within the flat itself, he points out the worn carpet and couch and the almost useless piece of mirror that Della has for making herself up.
Tomorrow is Christmas Day, and Della is distraught. The meager savings she managed to put aside to purchase a gift for her beloved husband is a mere $1.87. It is simply not enough for a present worthy of her Jim.
Five Discourse Modes have been identified by Smith (2003), i.e. Narrative, Report, Descriptive,
Information and Argument. Smith analyzes the properties that distinguish each mode, focusing on
grammatical rather than lexical information. She has also examined presentational matters: topic
and focus; variation in syntactic structure; and subjectivity, or point of view (2003, 1999, 1991).
According to him, close linguistic analysis of the text through discourse modes helps understand the
text. The short story “The Gift of the Magi” is analyzed applying the five modes of discourse with the
objective if the analysis of the text could lead better understanding of the text. It is also analyzed if all
the five modes are present in one type of text i.e. the Narrative here, and if their presence in the text
enhances the understanding. The purpose of the analysis is to mark the stylistic effect of the
Discourse Modes that may contribute to the better and proper understanding of the text, specifically
from a pedagogical point of view
The short story, 'The Gift of the Magi' by O. Henry is a treasure house of wonderful expressions, creative language, real life themes, techniques and an excellent message to live by. This story has been chosen to do a literary or linguistic analysis to bring out the message of the story. It has got a universal appeal and stands the test of times leaving an indelible impression on its readers. This paper tries to explore the use of words, phrases, symbols, similes, metaphors, personification, irony, tone, mood, point of view to understand the use of language better. O. Henry stands out as a literary genius in creating a world of love, peace, sacrifice and belongingness through his characters Jim and Della. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
The study aimed to bring more possibilities into existence for one of the O. Henry’s texts, “The Gift of the Magi”,
in terms of the application of metacognition concept. The idea of level was rooted in metacognition concept and
was used to examine the text. The study found that there were two levels for a same thing in O. Henry’s text.
One level was an inner-layer story, and the other an external (outer)-layer story. They both constructed a
particular twofold spatial for O. Henry’s fiction world. It was the very spatial that the opportunities of involving
the literary content were created and became possible. Through the investigation, true implication of
metacognition was manifested, which was something of knowing beyond knowing and thinking behind thinking
“One dollar and eighty-seven cents. And the next day would be Christmas.” And so we begin O. Henry’s best-known and timeless story. It’s a wonderful romantic tale of a young married couple who have little money to buy each other Christmas presents—with a charming surprise ending. Starring Rosemary Deleonardis, Kiah Gordon, David A. Silverstein, Linda Stiegler, and Adrienne Storrs. Adapted for the screen and directed by Scott Mansfield. (20 minutes)
Played against the tapestry of early 1900s New York City, this touching tale of selflessness brings O. Henry’s Christmas valentine—an adaptation of his “The Gift of the Magi”—lovingly to the screen. A beautiful and wealthy orphan (Marie Osmond) is dutifully resigned to an arranged marriage to a man of “socially acceptable class” (James Woods) when her heart is captured by a young Swiss immigrant (Timothy Bottoms). Within her heart she wages a struggle to fulfill her relatives’ expectations and yet to find for herself that most precious of all joys, the gift of love. As seen on NBC. (96 minutes)
William Sydney Porter in his colorful lifetime became a licensed pharmacist. He would also become a bank teller, a bookkeeper, a clerk, an illustrator, a draftsman in the General Land Office, a newspaperman, an editor, a reporter, a columnist, and a cartoonist. He also learned to break a stubborn bronco, lasso cattle, and shear sheep, and he could rope and ride and shoot a gun. “Will,” as his family and neighbors called him, was also a writer. In a lifetime often marred by tragic events, he became a voice for the ordinary people, writing hundreds of stories that brought him great renown. We have come to know him by his pen name as simply O. Henry.
This collection of twenty-five short stories includes some of O. Henry's finest works. The book title, The Four Million, is attributed to the population of New York City in the early 1900s, and many of the stories are set there. O. Henry's empathetic tales give names and faces to everyday people, bearing out his belief that everyone is worth noticing. The collection includes one of his most famous stories, "The Gift of the Magi." The poignant piece tells of a young, poor couple who try to come up with surprise Christmas presents for each other, even though neither can afford much. This is an unabridged version of the American author's short story collection, which was first published in 1906.
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