In a story, irony occurs once a instance doesn’t turn out together expected, together in O. Henry’s “The Gift of the Magi.” Authors use irony to include an facet of humor right into their works, come emphasize the ethical of a story or to do an audience ponder the underlying meaning of what a personality said, according to the Author’s craft website. The irony the Henry gift in his brief story teaches the reader around sacrifice and love.

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Summary the the Story

In “The Gift of the Magi,” Jim and Della Dillingham Young are a young couple of modest means. They have two prized possessions: Jim’s pocket watch, which formerly belonged to his father and grandfather, and also Della’s lengthy hair. On Christmas Eve, the pair only had actually $1.87 to spend on presents for each other. Henry defines at the end of the quick story that they sacrificed the best treasures that they owned so they could purchase product possessions. The sacrifice, however, brought about the knowledge that girlfriend cannot placed a price top top love, and also that the true gift that the couple received to be the wisdom to establish this concept and acknowledge every other’s sacrifices.

Verbal Irony

Verbal irony is when a character says something the contrasts with literal meaning of his words, or says something the doesn’t align through a certain situation. This type of irony have the right to come in the form of sarcasm, overstatements or understatements, according to Kansas State University. In “The Gift the the Magi,” Henry offers verbal irony ~ revealing that the Dillingham Youngs only had actually $1.87 for gifts: “There was clearly nothing to do however flop down on the shabby small couch and also howl. For this reason Della did it. I m sorry instigates the ethical reflection that life is consisted of of sobs, sniffles, and smiles, through sniffles predominating.” This i is ironic as it shows Della emotion sorry because that herself and her gaue won predicament even though not having actually much money because that a gift, in reality, is no that tragic. After ~ Della sells her hair come buy Jim’s present, Henry writes, “She got out her curling irons and lighted the gas and also went to occupational repairing the ravages make by generosity included to love. I m sorry is always a incredible task, dear friend -- a mammoth task.” Henry is gift sarcastic when he claims that plot of charity love has consequences that are tough to overcome and also suggests that shorter hair is difficult to style.

Dramatic Irony

Dramatic irony is when a reader knows an ext about a instance than a character in a story, do a situation suspenseful or humorous. In the “Gift of the Magi,” dramatic irony occurs once Della opens the gift native Jim, a set of tortoise shell combs, and briefly forgets that her hair isn’t long enough to stay them. Dramatic irony may likewise occur if a reader guesses in advance that Jim marketed his clock to buy the coveted combs.

Situational Irony

Situational irony occurs as soon as there’s an unanticipated outcome in a story. An example is as soon as Jim comes house from work and also sees Della’s quick hair. The fact that the purchased hair combs for Della demonstrates the he didn’t mean her to sell her hair. The instance is also ironic because that Della due to the fact that she want a pair the tortoise covering combs, however didn’t expect to obtain them together a gift. One more example the situational irony is when Jim unexpectedly receives the fob the Della provided him for his watch, yet Della didn’t recognize that he marketed it. Henry adds a twist towards the end of the story once Jim states to Della, “Let"s placed our Christmas presents away and also keep "em a while. They"re also nice come use just at present. I sold the watch to get the money come buy your combs. And now expect you placed the chops on." rather of getting upset about the presents that they can not use, i m sorry a reader could expect, Jim is happy to move past the situation and also eat dinner. In the last paragraph of the story, Henry points out that the sacrifices the Jim and also Della produced each various other were more valuable 보다 the gifts themselves.

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Flora Richards-Gustafson has actually been composing professionally due to the fact that 2003. She create copy because that websites, marketing materials and printed publications. Richards-Gustafson specializes in SEO and also writing about small-business strategies, health and beauty, interior design, emergency preparedness and also education. Richards-Gustafson received a Bachelor of Arts native George Fox university in 2003 and was recognized by Cambridge's "Who's Who" in 2009 together a leading mrs entrepreneur.


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