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ANALYSIS OF "THE GIFT OF THE MAGI"

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Angeline Onknyi

on 2 December 2014

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Transcript of ANALYSIS OF "THE GIFT OF THE MAGI"

ANALYSIS OF "THE GIFT OF THE MAGI"
THEME
Love

Sacrifice

Wealth

Woman and Femininity


CHARACTER
DELLA
JIM
MADAME SOFRONIE

DIVISION OF CHARACTERS
BASED ON COMPLEXITY:
Complex (round) character

BASED ON DEVELOPMENT:
Dynamic character (Della and Jim)
Static Character (Madam Sofronie)

BASED ON FUNCTION:
Main Character : Della and Jim
Secondary Character : Madam Sofronie

BASED ON DEED:
Della, Jim, and Madam Sofronie : Protagonist.

PHYSIOLOGICAL DIMENSION
DELLA : Slim and has a long and brown beautiful hair.

“Perhaps you have seen a pier-glass in an $8 flat. A very thin and very agile person may, by observing his reflection in a rapid sequence of longitudinal strips, obtain a fairly accurate conception of his looks. Della, being
slender
, had mastered the art.”


So now Della's beautiful hair fell about her rippling and shining like a cascade of brown waters.
It reached below her knee and made itself almost a garment for her. “

PLOT
Plot Structure

Beginning
: Della is in a simple flat, she and her husband Jim are poor, she loves Jim more than anything else. She really needs to buy him the perfect Christmas gift, with only $1.87.

Middle
:
Conflict: Della sold her hair to earn more money to buy Jim a present. Then she got a perfect present for Jim.

Complication: Jim arrives at home after working, and stares Della with her short hair. He is like thinking how and why Della’s hair has gone. Jim doesn’t get angry, but his reaction is not good ( like a little shocked).

Climax: Della unwraps the gift given by Jim. They are the combs which Della always want to have. Della understand the meaning of such expression of Jim.
PHYSIOLOGICAL DIMENSION
MADAM SOFRONIE: Large, has too white skin color, chilly look.

“Madame, large, too white, chilly, hardly looked the "Sofronie.“”

PHYSIOLOGICAL DIMENSION
JIM: Thin, tired face.

“He looked
thin
and very serious. Poor fellow,
he was only twenty-two--and to be burdened with a family!
He needed a new overcoat and he was without gloves.”


SOCIOLOGICAL DIMENSION
DELLA: Wife of Jim, loving her husband very much, became selfless when facing a problem.

"Will you buy my hair?" asked Della.
"I buy hair," said Madame. "Take yer hat off and let's have a sight at the looks of it."
Down rippled the brown cascade.
"Twenty dollars," said Madame, lifting the mass with a practised hand.
"Give it to me quick," said Della.


SOCIOLOGICAL DIMENSION
JIM: Husband of Della, loving his wife very much, became serious when facing a problem.


The door opened and Jim stepped in and closed it.
He looked thin and very serious.

"You've cut off your hair?"
asked Jim, laboriously, as if he had not arrived at that patent fact yet even after the hardest mental labor.

SOCIOLOGICAL DIMENSION
MADAME SOFRONIE: Hair shop owner who bought Della’s hair, to the point person.

"Will you buy my hair?" asked Della.
"I buy hair," said Madame. "Take yer hat off and let's have a sight at the looks of it."
Down rippled the brown cascade.
"Twenty dollars," said Madame, lifting the mass with a practised hand.
"Give it to me quick," said Della.

PSYCHOLOGICAL DIMENSION
DELLA : a loving and caring person, a panic and worrying person.

"Jim, darling," she cried, "don't look at me that way. I had my hair cut off and sold because I couldn't have lived through Christmas without giving you a present. It'll grow out again--you won't mind, will you? I just had to do it. My hair grows awfully fast. Say `Merry Christmas!' Jim, and let's be happy. You don't know what a nice-- what a beautiful, nice gift I've got for you."
PSYCHOLOGICAL DIMENSION
JIM: a good natured person.

"Don't make any mistake, Dell," he said, "about me.
I don't think there's anything in the way of a haircut or a shave or a shampoo that could make me like my girl any less.
But if you'll unwrap that package you may see why you had me going a while at first."

PSYCHOLOGICAL DIMENSION
MADAM SOFRONIE: a chilly person.


Where she stopped the sign read: "Mne. Sofronie. Hair Goods of All Kinds." One flight up Della ran, and collected herself, panting. Madame, large, too white, chilly, hardly looked the "Sofronie."



SETTING OF THE GIFT OF THE MAGI
Place :
The action takes place in New York City
in the couple's apartment

Time :
During Christmas time

Occupation:
Not great job, Jim only makes US$20 aweek from it.

Religion:
Christian or Catholic.



POINT OF VIEW
Definition:
The narrator of the story or who tells the story.

The place of the narrator is outside the story.

According from short story of The Gift of Magi the narrator is third person, omniscient. The story seems to follow only Della, giving the readers detailed view of what she is thinking and doing, but the readers never knows Jim did.

SETTING
Kind of Setting :
Spiritual Setting
The drabness of the physical setting in which Jim and Della live creates a contrast with the warmth and richness of their love for each other

Function of Setting :
1. Setting as Methapore
"bulldozing the grocer and the vegetable man and the butcher." ->strength
of Della's determination

“tripped by on rosy wings” -> She was happy, she was ready to seek for
a present for Jim

2. Setting as atmosphere
Happiness with sadness
couple who sell their best possessions, Della’s hair and Jim’s watch, in
order to get money for a Christmas present for each other.

PLOT
Ending:
After Jim knows his gift from Della, he tries to reveal that he sells his gold watch to buy the combs, so the gift for him is as useless as the gift he bought for Della.

Conclusion: In the end, the narrator compares what Jim and Della have done with the really wise givers. They are the Magi

Plot Division
Based on the elements: PLOTS OF THOUGHT, since the way of thinking of Della changes (the situation of Della’s mind changes).

Based on the ending: CLOSED PLOT, because the ending is given. The ending is when Della and Jim realize that their gifts become useless. So they leave their gifts and have dinner together.

Based on chronology: CHRONOLOGICAL. Each event of the story is the continuation for the previous events. There is no any flashback in the story
Laws of Plot
Plausibility: the story is acceptable and make sense. There is not any “strange” events.

Suspense: The story is interesting. Each event of the story makes readers curious of what will be happen in the next event.

Surprise: In the ending of the story, there is a twist. It is when Jim tells Della that he had sold his watch to buy gift. It’s the same with Della who has sold her hair to do so

CONFLICT
Types of conflict : Internal conflict. In the story, the internal conflict is within Della herself. She must make decisions and try to overcome the sadness and worry that she feel.

Sources of conflict : Limited resources, since Della and Jim are a poor couple. They have limited sources (money) to buy gifts for each other.

Conflict management strategies : Compromise. In the end, Della and Jim seem agree not to think about the gifts anymore, the gifts which have been bought by sacrificing each of valuable things they have.

STYLE AND TONE
The elements of style:

Diction: lexical choice
The lexical choice of this short story is ironic or playful. Because it could see in the situational when Della and Jim sells their most prized possessions in order to buy the other a special gift. Della buy gold chain for Jim and Jim buy special Comb for Della but their gift was useless.

Imagery : collection of images
a. Literal image
Within forty minutes her head was covered with tiny, close-lying curls that made her look wonderfully like a truant schoolboy.

b. Figurative image
Pennies saved one and two at a time by bulldozing the grocer and the vegetable man and the butcher until one's cheeks burned with the silent imputation of parsimony that such close dealing implied.

c. Symbols
Jim and Della gave gifts that were also the same.  They were prized possessions but the gifts they bought were practical; combs for her hair and a chain for his watch.  They bought these things to add to the importance of their possessions, but in the end the greatest gift they had was their love for each other.

KINDS OF STYLE
1. Conventional a public symbol

The magi.
They were wise men--wonderfully wise men--who brought gifts to the Babe in the manger. They invented the art of giving Christmas presents. Being wise, their gifts were no doubt wise ones, possibly bearing the privilege of exchange in case of duplication.

2. Personal symbols
“Oh, and the next two hours tripped by on rosy wings. Forget the hashed metaphor. She was ransacking the stores for Jim's present”.
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