Class 12| Alternative English (Prose)| Chapter-4| The gift Of The Magi

Class 12| Alternative English (Prose)| Chapter-4| The gift Of The Magi . Important questions for HS Second Year English Questions Answers brings you latest queries and solutions with accordance to the most recent pointers NCERT. Students will clear all their doubts with regard to every chapter by active these necessary chapter queries and elaborate explanations that area unit provided by our specialists so as to assist you higher. These queries can facilitate students prepare well for the exams thanks to time constraint. Class 12| Alternative English (Prose)| Chapter-4| The gift Of The Magi

Class 12| Alternative English (Prose)| Chapter-4| The gift Of The Magi

Chapter 4

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:- O’ Henry

William Sydney Porter or O’ Henry (11 September 1862-5 June 1910) was born in North Carolina, United states of America While working in a bank, he was charged for taking money from the bank and was imprisoned for three year. Though it was a technical mismanagement. In prison he wrote a series of adventure stories entitled cabbages and king’s and became popular. William Sydney Porter then took to writing under the pen name of O’ Henry. He had written many stories and was a pioneer to write about middle class. The Gift of the Magi is a well known story written by O’ Henry. The story first appeared in the New York sunday world on December 10 (1905) and was later published in O’ Henry’s collection. The Four Million on 10th April 1905.

SUMMARY

The Gift of the Magi is a short story which revolves around a young married couple Tim and Della Dillingham. The couple has very little money. They have two possessions that they consider their treasures. Tim has a gold watch given to him by his father and grand father. Della has lustrous long hair that falls almost to her knees. For Jim his precious watch, a family hairloom can even make king solomonious while Della’s long beautiful hair can make queen of sheba jealous of her. On chirstmas Eve Della finds her in possession of a meager one dollar and eighty-seven cents with which she wants to buy a gift for Jim. She want to buy Jim a chain for his gold watch but they’re all out of her price range. Rushing home, Della pulls down her beautiful long hair and stands infront of the mirror, admiring it and thinking. Suddenly she rushes out of home and cuts off her hair to sell at $ 20.00 just enough to buy the platinum chain for Gold watch. When Jim returns back, he stares out at her Della

confesses that she sold her hair to buy his present Jim casually pulls a package of from his overcoat pocket and gives it to Della. Inside the packet Della finds a pair of costly decorative hair combs that she admired for long. Hiding her tears, she gives Jim his christmas gift the watch chain. Jim shrugs, flops down onto the sofa, puts his hands behind his head. He confesses Della that he sold his watch to buy her combs. The story ends by comparing Jim and Della’s gifts to the gifts that the Magi gave to the Baby Jesus in the biblical story of Christmas. As per the narrator Jim and Della’s gifts are far wiser than the Magi as their gifts are gifts of love and self-sacrifice. They know the value of self- giving love. They story deals with the lesson of what constitutes the true spirit of gift giving on christmas.

Very Short Answer Questions: 1 Mark

1. Who were the ‘Magi’?

Ans: The Magi were the wise men, who travelled from the East to Jerusalem guided by a star to see the infant Jesus, son of God..

2. How much has Della been able to save? 

Ans: Della has been able to save only one dollar and eighty seven cents.

3. Who is Jim’? 

Ans: Jim is Della’s husband.

4. What is Jim’s full name? 

Ans: Jim’s full name is Mr. James Dillingham Young.

5. Whose name does the card bear?

Ans: The card bears the name Mr. James Dillingham Young.

6. How much was the income of the possessor of the card earlier? 

Ans: Earlier the of the possessor of the card was $30 per week.

7. How much is his income now? 

Ans: Now his income is $ 20 per week.

8. Who is ‘Dell’?

Ans: ‘Dell’ is James Dillingham Young’s wife.

9. How much is the rent of the flat? 

Ans: The rent of the flat is $ 8 per week.

10. Who is the ‘mistress of the home’? 

Ans: ‘Della’ is the mistress of the home.

Short Answer Questions Type – 1:2 Marks:

1. Why was Della saving up her money? 

Ans: Della was saving up her money to buy a fine, rare and sterling Christmas gift for Jim.

2. Why did Della count her money three times? 

Ans: Della counted her money three times to assure herself that she could save only one dollar and eighty seven cents to buy a Christmas gift for her husband.

3. What did Della do after she realised she had very less money with her? 

Ans: When Della realised that she had very less money with her to buy gift for Jim she flopped down on the shabby little couch and then howled. She felt very sad and depressed.

4. What was the condition of the card which bore its owner’s name?

Ans: The card-bearing the name “Mr. James Dillingham Young” was not in a proper condition. It has also faced the ravages of time because the letters of Dillingham’ looked blurred as if contracted to a modest and unassuming “D”.

5. Where did Della look at her reflection? 

Ans: Della looked at her reflection in pierglass between the windows of the room.

6. What would the Queen of Sheba be jealous of?

Ans: The Queen of Sheba would be jealous of Della’s long beautiful golden hair as Dellà had long lustrous beautiful hair. 

7. Where did Della run to after looking at her reflection in the pier-glass?

Ans: After looking at her reflection in the pier glass, Della ran down the street to meet Madame Saffronie, in order to sell her long hair. 

8. How much money did Madame offer Della for her hair? 

Ans: Madame Saffronie offered Della twenty dollars for her hair.

9. What was the present that Della chose for Jim? 

Ans: Della had chosen a platinum chain simple and chaste in design for Jim.

10. How did she look after the ‘repair’ of her hair? 

Ans: After the repair of her hair Della looked like a truants hool boy.

Short Answer Questions Type -2:3 Marks:

1. How did Della succeed in saving one dollar and eighty-seven cents?

Ans: Della succeeded in saving one dollar and eighty-seven cents to buy Christmas gift for Jim. She had saved that meagre amount by bargaining the grocer, the vegetable man and the butcher until their cheeks burned with silent imputation of parsimony.

2. What makes the author come to the conclusion that ‘life is made up of sobs, sniffles and smiles, with sniffles predominating? 

Ans: Della had a desire to give the most precious gift to Jim but she could save only one dollar and eighty seven cents to but on Christmas Eve. She felt sorry for herself and her financial predicament. She had nothing else to do but flop down on the shabby little couch and howl. Della had saved money with much effort but still it would not fulfill her desired wish so she cried. It made the author realise that life is made up of sobs, sniffles and smiles with sniffles predominating.

3. Describe Della’s flat.

Ans : Della’s flat was a furnished flat at $8 per week. In the entrance hall, below was a letter box into which no letter would go and an electric button which could not coax a ring. Also a card, bearing the name “Mr. James Dillingham Young” was also there. The letter of the card looked blurred. In the flat there was a pier-glass between the windows of the room.

4. Why did everything look grey to Della that morning? 

Ans: Della felt disappointed when she found that she had only one dollar and eighty seven cents to buy a Christmas gift for Jim. She felt sorry for herself and her financial predicement. So everything looked ‘gray’ to Della that morning because her world was tinged with bleak despair. She felt disappointed as she could not buy a worthy present for her husband.

5. What had Della been planning all along? 

Ans: Della had been planning to buy a nice Christmas gift for Jim. She planned to buy something nice, fine, rare and sterling. Something just a little bit near to being worthy of the honour of being owned by her husband Jim.

6. What idea came to Della’s mind as she stood looking at her reflection in the pier-glass?

Ans: While looking at her reflection in the pier-glass. She had an idea that she could trade off the very treasure. She possessed i.e. her long beautiful hair to buy a nice Christmas gift for Jim..

7. What were the two possessions of the James Dillingham Young of which they both were very proud? 

Ans: James Dillingham Young had two possessions of which they both were very proud. Jim’s prized possession was his gold watch, a family heirloom while Della had lustrous long beautiful hair.

8. What was enough for Jim to do to make king Solomon envious?

Ans: To make king Solomon envious, it was enough for Jim to pull out his watch every time he passed him.

9. Why do you think, Della had the ‘brilliant sparkle still in her eyes’ even as she ran out of the door and into the street? 

Ans: Della had “the brilliant sparkle still in her eyes” as she had found the way to arrange money for Jim’s Christmas gift.

10. What did Della ask Madame Sofronie and what was her answer?

Ans: Della asked Madame Safronie if she would buy her hair. Madame sofronie answered that she would buy hair and then asked her to take her hat off in order to have a sight at the looks of it.

11. Did Della bargain with Madame about the price for her hair? What did she say to her, then? 

Ans: No, Della did not bargain with Madame Sofronie about the price for her hair. She told her to give her twenty dollars quickly. 

12. Why was the gift chosen by Della for Jim ‘like him’?

Ans: The gift chosen by Della for Jim was like him because she had chosen that gift for the use with his most cherished possession i e. gold watch. It also reflected her love and devotion for Jum. Like Ji… the gift was also simple and valued and quiet attractive.

13. Once home, what did Della do to ‘repair’ her looks? 

Ans: After reaching home, Della gave away a little to prudence and reason. She used the curling iron on her hair to repair the ravages of her hair. She took forty minutes trying to fix her hair. She looked like a truant school going boy.

14. What did Della think Jim would say to her about the way she looked now?

Ans: Della thought that Jim would kill her. If he did not kill her, then he would give her a second look. In that case Jim would say her that she looked like a Coney Island Chorus girl.

15. What habit did Della have and what did she whisper about when she heard Jim’s steps on the stairs? 

Ans : Della had a habit of saying little silent prayers about the simplest everyday things.

When she heard Jim’s steps on the stairs she whispered,

 “Please God, make him think I am still pretty.”

16. How old was Jim and how did he look?

Ans : Jim was twenty two years old. Jim looked thin and very serious.

17. How did Jim behave when he stepped inside the room? 

Ans: When Jim stepped inside the room, he stopped and his eyes were fixed upon Della with an expression which she could not read. It was neither anger nor surprise or disapproval. He had peculiar expression with which he simply stared at her.

18. What did Della think was the reason for Jim’s odd behaviour? 

Ans: Della thought that cutting of her hair was the reason for Jim’s odd behaviour.

19. How did Della try to coax Jim into thinking that she was still pretty?

Ans: Della told Jim that she had cut her hair as she wanted to give him a Christmas present. Moreover her hair would grow again. She tried to convince him that her hair grow very fast. In order to convince Jim she asked her if he did not like her. Though she had cut her hair, still she was the same person Della, whose love for Jim could never be counted.

20. What is Jim’s answer to Della regarding her looks without her long hair? 

Ans: Jim answered Della that nothing in the world could make her like his girl any less. But if Della would unwrap the gift which he had bought for her as a Christmas present then she would realise why his behaviour was like that at first.

21. What lay in the package that Jim had brought for Della? 

Ans: In the package Jim had brought for Della a pair of costly beautiful combs made up of pure tortoise shell with Jewelled rims.

Class 12 Alternative English Question Answer

PROSE

Chapter 1The Verger
Chapter 2The testament of a walker
Chapter 3The Scarecrow
Chapter 4The gift Of The Magi
Chapter 5On Not Being a Philosopher

POETRY

Chapter 1Sita
Chapter 2The Brook
Chapter 3Ozymandias Of Egypt
Chapter 4La Bella Dame Same Merci
Chapter 5Village Song

Long Answer Questions Type – 1:4 Marks:

1. How did the next two hours pass by for Della? 

Ans: After getting desired money for Jim’s Christmas present, her next two hours tripped by on rosy wings, searching gifts for her husband. For Jim’s present he was ransacking the stores one after another but she did find anything suitable. Finally she found a platinum fob chain simple and chaste in design. She paid twenty one dollar for the chain and returned home with 87 cents.

2. Why did Jim’s expression terrify Della? 

Ans: After returning home Jim stared at Della fixedly with peculiar expression on his face. In his eyes there was an expression which she could not read. Jim’s expression was neither anger, nor surprise, or disapproval horror. It also did not bear any of the sentiments that she had been prepared for simply he was staring at her. It terrified Della.

3. Why did Della quickly change from being joyous to crying hysterically?

Ans: Jim gave Della a set of pure tortoise shell combs with jewelled rims as a Christmas gift. Della had ever desired and worshipped these combs for long in Broadway window. These combs were very expensive and she knew it. Still her heart craved and yearned over them without the least hope of possession. So when Jim gave it her, she made an ecstatic scream of joy. But suddenly she started crying hysterically, because the combs were hers but the hair for which they were meant, were no more hers as she had cut off her hair to bring a Christmas gift for Jim. Della’s hair had gone, but she accepted Jim’s gift with love and hugged them from heart and smiled.

5. Why does O’ Henry allude to the ‘two foolish children’ as the Magi? 

Ans: O’ Henry allude to the two foolish children as ‘the Magi’ because Jim and Della both sacrified their most cherished possession to buy something for use with the other’s most cherished possession. They behave impulsively. As per author the value of gift lies not in its monetary price but in the intent, sacrifice and generosity behind the giving. They are like Magi, the three wise men from Christian mythology who carried precious gifts to Christ at his birth. Jim and Dell’s gifts were also gift of love and sacrifice. It also reflects upon what constitutes the true spirit of gift giving on Christmas.

6. Bring out the meaning inherent in this sentence : ‘She stood by the window and looked out dully at a grey cat walking a gray fence in a gray backyard.”

Ans: Della Dillingham wanted to give the most precious gift she could possibly come up with, to her husband Jim on Christmas Eve. But she possibly could save only one dollar and eighty seven cents. With that meagre amount she could not bring the desired gift. So she felt sorry for herself and her financial predicament. She looked outside of the window. Her attitude and emotions as she looked out the window matched the surroundings in which she was living. Everything looked gray to her. Whether it be a cat, or a fence or backyard. Everything was colourless and hopeless like dull shade of gray. There was no variety, no glint of colour, no hope of improving her financial predicament. The colour imagery ‘gray’ here connotes gloom and despondency on the part of Della.

Long Answer Questions Type – 2:5 Marks:

1. O’ Henry calls Della and Jim ‘two foolish children’. Do you think they are really foolish? Why or why not?

Ans: Jim and Della had very little money to buy Christmas gifts for each other. They wanted to give each other what they thought the most precious gifts they could possibly come up with. So they sacrificed their own greatest possession. They had trade-off very treasures, each possessed and for which the gifts were meant. Jim brought a set of tortoise shell combs for Della, which Della ever longed but she had sold her long hair to buy a platinum fob chain for Jim’s watch. Even Della’s gift was too nice for Jim to use as he sold his watch to buy expensive combs for Della. But they were happy as they realised their love for each other. O’ Henry called them ‘two foolish children’ as well as “The Magi” too. Jim and Della were not foolish though they sacrificed their greatest treasure without thinking about the consequences. Their gifts were too nice to be used by them in present. Still it revealed the true spirit of gift giving on Christmas. They were wise like the Magi as their gifts were gifts of love and sacrifice.

2. Is the title of the story ‘The Gift of The Magi’ appropriate? Justify. 

Ans: “The Gift of the Magi” is a story which centres around a young couple named Jim and Della. They are rather poor to buy Christmas gifts for each other. They wanted to give each other what they thought the most precious gifts they could possible come up with. In the story each person demonstrate their love for each other by sacrificing their own greatest possession. Della’s possession was her long beautiful lustrous hair-enough to make queen sheba jealous of her Jim’s precious gold watch, a family heir loom was his most priced possession. Ironically both of them had trade-of their very treaures each possessed and for which the gifts were meant. Their gifts were too nice to be used by them. The story ended by comparing Jim and Della’s gifts to the gifts that the Magi gave to the baby Jesus at his birth. As per narrator Jim and Della’s gifts are far wiser than the Magi as their gifts were gifts of self sacrifice and love. The title “Gift of the Magi” is significant as it ends with the moral lesson of what constitutes the true spirit of gift giving on Christmas. The title is quiet appropriate as it deals with the idea of precious gifts and wisdom that the title alludes to the title refers to the three wise men or Magi who brought precious gifts to Jesus while in the story both Jim and Della demonstrate their love by sacrificing their own greatest possession.

3. What moral lessons are stressed upon in ‘The Gift of The Magi’?

Ans: The story ‘The Gift of The Magi’ deals with the moral lesson of what constitutes the true spirit of gift giving on Christmas. Both Jim and Della were poor, so they had to sell-off their most priyed possession to buy Christmas gifts for each other. Della sacrificed her long lustrous hair beautiful enough to make the queen of Sheba envy of her while Jim sacrificed his golden watch, a family heirloom. Jim brought a set of tortoise shell combs for Della, which she had ever longed for, but it was too nice for her to use. She told her long hair to buy a platinum fob chain for Jim’s watch. Even Della’s gift for Jim was too nice to be used. Both Jim and Della sacrificed their most cherished possession to buy something for the use with the other’s most cherished possession. Here lies the true spirit of gift giving on Christmas. Both Jim and Della demonstrated their love by sacrificing their most cherished possession. Selflessness and a desire to add to the happiness of the one who receives the gifts are the central concerns here. It also reflects on the willingness to sacrifice for them.

4. Bring out the comic irony in the story, ‘The Gift of The Magi’. 

Ans: In a story irony occurs when a situation does not turn out as expected. In “The Gift of the Magi” comic irony is used to emphasis the moral of the story i.e.. What constitutes the true spirit of gift giving on Christmas. Jim and Della are a young couple of modest means. They have to sell off their most prized possessions to buy gifts for each other on Christmas. Della scarifies her long lustrous hair-beautiful enough to make the queen of sheba envy of her. Jim’s precious watch a family heirloom which can make king solomon envious. The ironic twist lies in the fact that they both trade-off their very treasures each possess and for which the gifts are meant. Jim brought a set of tortoise shell combs for Della, which Della ever longed for Della briefly forgets that her hair isn’t long enough to wear in her very short hair. She sold her long hair to bring a platinum fob chain for Jim’s watch. Even Della’s gift was too nice for Jim to use as he sold his gold watch to buy gift for Della. Although Jim and Della were left with gifts too nice to be used but they were not sad. They realised their love for each other. The narrator then compares their gift of love with those of the Biblical Magi. Comic enough the narrator calls them foolish and then wise due to their devotion to each other. The Comic irony arises from the fact that both Jim and Della sacrificed their most cherished possession to buy something for the use with the other’s most cherished possession.

5. Explain with reference to the context :

(a) Which instigates the moral reflection that life is made up of sobs, sniffles, and smiles, with smiles predominating? 

Ans: These lines have been taken from O’Henry’s short story “The Gift of the Magi”. The story deals with the true spirit of gift giving on Christmas. In the present context the author has dealt with the emotions of human heart which dominates human being’s life.

Della wanted to buy a gift for Jim on the eve of Christmas. She had one dollar and eighty seven cents. She had saved that money, by bullozing the grocer, the vegetable man and the butcher. But she had only one dollar and eighty cents to buy on Christmas Eve. She was thinking to give the most precious gift she could possibly come up with. But she had save that meagre amount but this would not make her to bring the on. She felt sorry for herself and her financial predicament. She started crying as she had nothing else to do. It shows that life of a person is made up of sobs, sniffles and smiles. But sniffles predominates. The line refers to the mental agony of Della and her lone for her husband.

(b) Looked out dully at a-gray cat walking a gray fence in a gray backyard.

Ans: These lines have been taken from O’Henry’s short story “The Gift of the Magi.” The story deals with the true spirit of gift giving on Christmas. In the present context colour “gray” connotes gloom and despondency on the part of Della.

Della Dillingham had a desire to give the most precious gift she could possibly come up with to her husband on Christmas Eve. But she did not have the desired money, so she felt sorry for herself and her financial predicament. She overcome with emotions. Everything looked ‘gray” to her as there was no hope of improving her financial predicament. The colour imagery ‘gray’ connotes gloom and despondency on the part of Della. Her world was tinged with bleak despair as she could not buy a worthy present for her husband.

(c) Oh, and the next two hours passed by on rosy wings. Forget the hashed metaphor. She was ransacking the stores for Jim’s present.

Ans: These lines have been quoted from the short story, “The gift of the Magi”. In this story O’Henry has shown the intent sacrifice and generosity behind the giving.

In the present context. Della’s willingness to give her husband a Christmas gift is referred.

Della wanted to give her husband Jim a Christmas gift. She desired to give him the most precious gift she should possibly come up with. So she sold her cherished possession long beautiful hair in order to buy it. After getting the desired money for Jim’s Christmas present her next two hours passed on rosy wings as she was enthusiastic to bring something precious for Jim. For gift she was ransacking the stores one after another but she was not getting the desired one. She was so much enthusiastic that she spend two hours in searching. Her happiness knew no bound, though she had lost the most priyed possession i.e. her long beautiful hair. The line reflects on Della’s selflessness and a desire to add to the happiness of the one whom she loves.

(d) She found it at last. It surely had been made for Jim and no one else.

Ans: These lines have been taken from O’ Henry’s short story “The Gift of the Magi”. In this story O’ Henry has shown the intent, sacrifice and generosity behind the giving.

In the present context the author has shown Della’s enthusiasm in finding a suitable gift for Jim.

Della had a desire to give Jim a suitable gift. She was thinking to give him the most precious gift she could possible come up with. She sold the most priyed possession of her i.e. her long beautiful hair. After getting the desired money. She searched for him a nice gift and finally she found it. She found a platinum fob chain, simple and chaste in design. It was suitable for the use with Jim’s most cherished possession i.c. Gold watch. Like Jim, the gift was also simple and quiet attractive. When she saw it, she realised that it was meant for Jim only. It was worthy of Jim’s gold watch. Though it was simple but it proclaimed its value and the same was applicable for Jim also.

(e) It was like him. Quietness and value-the description applied to both. 

Ans: The above line has been quoted from the short story “The Gift of the Magi”. O’ Henry is the author of this story. In the present context the author has dealt with Della’s enthusiasm for Jim’s Christmas gift.

Della Dillingham, after getting the desired money searched every shop and finally she found a platinum fob chain, suitable for Jim’s gold watch.. The chain was simple and chaste in design. For Della, Jim was valued than anything else, she realised that quietness and value terms are applicable to both Jim and the platinum fob chain. It was simple and attractive as if it was meant only for Jim. Its simplicity and design proclaimed its value. It was applicable for Jim too.

(f) She got her curling irons and lighted the gas and went to work repairing the ravages made by generosity added to love. Which is always a tremendous task, dear friends – a mammoth task.

Ans: These lines have been quoted from O’ Henry’s short story “The Gift of the Magi”. The story deals with what constitutes the true spirit of gift giving on Christmas. In the present context the author has shown Della’s effort to repair her hair,

Della had long beautiful hair which made itself almost a garment for her But she trade-off her hair to buy a nice Christmas present for Jim. But she was worked that Jim would not find her pretty. After buying gift, when she returned home, she realised the situation. She gave away a little to prudence and reason. She used the curling iron on her hair to repair the ravages of her hair, she took almost forty minutes to fix her hair. She repaired the ravages made by generosity added to love. These ravages were caused due to her selflessness and a desire to add to the happiness of the one whom she loved.

(g) But what could I do-oh! What could I do with a dollar and eighty-seven cents?

Ans: The above lines have been extracted from O’ Henry’s short story “The Gift of the Magi”. In this story O’ Henry has shown the intent, sacrifice and generosity behind the giving. In the present context, Della’s willingness to give her husband a Christmas gift is referred.

Della Dillingham, wife of James Dillingham had a desire to give Jim a suitable gift. She was thinking to give the most precious gift she could possibly come up with. But Della found that she had only one dollar and eighty seven cents to buy an Christmas Eve. She had saved that meagre amount but this would not make her to bring the desired one. She felt sorry for herself and her financial predicament. She knew that the next day was Christmas. She needed more money to buy a gift for Jim. The above line refers to mental agency of Della and her love for her husband Jim. She had saved that after much effort but still it would not fulfill her desired wish.

(h) His eyes were fixed upon Della, and there was an expression in them that she could not read, and it terrified her. It was not anger, nor surprise, nor disapproval, nor horror, nor any of the sentiments that she had been prepared for. He simply stared at her fixedly with that peculiar expression on his face.

Ans: These lines have been quoted from O’ Henry’s short story “The Gift the Magi”. The story deals with what constitutes the true spirit of gift giving on Christmas.

In the present context the author has dealt with Jim’s mental agony. Della had sacrificed her long beautiful hair to bring a gift for Jim on Christmas Eve. When Jim returned home he was stunned to see Della in short hair. His eyes were fixed upon Della with an expression that could not be read. With peculiar expression, he only stated at her. His expression were neither anger nor surprise or disapproval. Della was terrified as she was not prepared for such sentiments and expression. Jim was stunned to see Della as he was also not prepared for that.

(i) White fingers and nimble tore at the string and paper. And then an ecstatic scream of joy; and then, alas! A quick feminine change to hysterical tears and wails, necessitating the immediate employment of all the comforting powers of the lord of the flat. 

Ans: These lines have been extracted from O’Henry short story “The Gift of the Magi”. It deals with what constitutes the true spirit of gift giving on Christmas. 

In the present context the author has shown fleeting change in Della when she unwrapped the gift given by Jim.

Jim had brought a pair of beautiful combs made of pure tortoise shell with jewelled rims as Christmas gift. When Della unwrapped the gift, she was happy. She had ever desires and worshipped these combs for long in Broadway window. These combs were very expensive and she knew it. Still her heart craved and yearned over them without the least hope of possession. When Jim gave her the gift, she made an ecstatic scream of joy. But suddenly she started crying hysterically because the combs were hers but the hair for which they were meant were not more hers as she had cut off her hair to bring a Christmas gift for Jim. Della’s hair had gone, but she accepted Jim’s gift with love and hugged them from heart and smiled.

(j) ‘Dell’, said he, ‘let’s put our Christmas presents away and keep ’em a while. They’re too nice to use just at present…’ 

Ans: These lines have been quoted from O’ Henry’s short story “The Gift of the Magi”. In this story O’ Henry has shown the intent, sacrificed and generosity behind the giving.

In the present context the author has dealt with how Jim and Della demonstrated their love by sacrificing their own greatest possession. Jim and Della were a young couple of modest means. They had to sell off their most prized possessions to buy gifts for each other one Christmas Della sacrified her long lustrous beautiful hair while Jim sacrificed precious gold watch, a family heirloom. Jim brought a set of tortoise shell combs for Della which she had ever longed for. But Della could not use it as she had sold her long hair to bring a platinum fob chain for Jim’s watch. So, Jim told Della that they should keep their gifts away as they were too nice to be used in the present. Although Jim and Della were left with gifts too nice to be used but they were not sad as they could realise their love for each other. They demonstrated their love for each other by sacrificing their greatest possession.

(k) But in a last word to the wise of these days let it be said that of all who give gifts these two were the wisest. Of all who give and receive gifts, such as they are wisest. Everywhere they are wisest. They are the magi.

Ans: The above lines have been quoted from “The Gift of the Magi” one of the most popular stories written by O’ Henry.

Here the author has considered Jim and Della’s gift wisest and compares their gift to the Magi who were Biblical characters.

As per author Jim and Della both sacrificed their most prized possession to buy something for use with the other’s most cherished possession. Both behaved impulsively, sacrificing their greatest treasure without thinking about the consequences and thinking only of making one another happy. As per author all those persons who give and receives gifts like Jim and Della are wisest in the whole world. The value of gift lies not in its monetary price but in the intent, sacrifice and generosity behind the giving. They are like Magi, the three wise men from Christian mythology who carried precious gifts to Christ at his birth Jim and Della’s gifts were gifts of love and sacrifice. It also deals with what constitutes the true spirit of gift giving on Christmas.

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