Metaphors space comparisons used effortlessly in daily life, such as likening a heat to a fire by saying "My head is burning." Authors intentionally craft metaphors to shape reader knowledge of characters and also stories. The location of O. Henry"s short story "The Gift the the Magi" shows its main metaphor, i m sorry compares a young couple"s selfless love come the sacrament of the Biblical wise guys -- magi -- who offered baby Jesus gifts.

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Author and Story Summary

O. Henry was the pen name of william Sydney Porter, who died in 1910. His stories were famous for surprise endings, such as the ironic conclusion of "The Gift of the Magi," i m sorry was first published in 1905 by a new York newspaper. The story comes to a wife and husband who secretly sacrifice their favorite possessions to purchase Christmas presents for each other. Della, the wife, selling her long hair, i m sorry is much more valuable to her 보다 jewels, for this reason she have the right to buy an expensive clock fob because that Jim. His solitary fine possession is his grandfather"s gold pocket watch. Together the story closes, Jim speak Della that he sold the watch to purchase a gift for her -- jeweled hair combs.

Definition of a Metaphor

Metaphors usage one object or concept to explain another. In "The Gift the the Magi," the narrator compares slim Della to a bulldozer. Return she only has $1.87 with which come buy a Christmas gift for she husband, the narrator says she conserved it a coin at a time by "bulldozing the grocer and the vegetable man and also the butcher." The bulldozer image is a an allegory for the toughness of Della"s determination. Later, using another literary maker called a simile -- a comparison including the word "like" or "as" -- the narrator adds to this photo of power by likening the beauty of she hair to a unstable river "rippling and also shining like a cascade of brown waters."

Central Metaphor

The main metaphor that O. Henry"s story alludes come the rich wise men, or magi, who yielded rare presents to infant Jesus in Matthew 2:1-18 the the Bible"s brand-new Testament. No wise males visit Della and Jim. O. Henry end his story through the metaphor, "They space the magi," in recommendation to Della and Jim. He comes before this statement by calling lock "foolish children" who sacrifices to be both unwise and yet the wisest of all. The narrator thinks Della and Jim room the biggest gift-givers of every time, because their love has caused lock to provide unselfishly and also at good cost. This metaphor underlines the story"s template that love is the finest gift the all.

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Mixed Metaphor

One confusing an allegory in "The Gift the the Magi" contains conflicting images. After Della sells she hair, she is happy when shopping for Jim"s gift. The narrator says, "The next two hours tripped through on rose wings," climate jokingly adds, "never mental the hashed metaphor," since birds use their wings to fly, no skip. Authors normally avoid mixed metaphors. The narrator"s hoax may have been based upon O. Henry"s require to meet a deadline -- "The Atlantic Monthly" notes that he reportedly wrote the story in less than 2 hours.


Alicia Rudnicki's Library Mix website blends book buzz for all ages. A gardener, she writes for California's flowers by the Sea nursery. She has actually a Bachelor of arts in journalism from UC Berkeley, a grasp of arts in education from CU Denver, and has teach K-12.


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