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The Gift of the Magi


William Sydney Porter, better known by his pen name O. Henry, was an American short story writer. O. Henry's stories frequently have surprise endings. In his day he was called the American answer to Guy de Maupassant. The Gift of the Magi is a short story by O. Henry first published in 1905. The story tells of a young husband and wife and how they deal with the challenge of buying secret Christmas gifts for each other with very little money. On Christmas night, with only $1.87 in hand, and desperate to find a gift for Jim, Della sells her hair for $20 to a nearby hairdresser named Madame Sofronie, and eventually finds a platinum pocket watch fob chain for Jim's watch. While unbeknownst to Della, Jim sells his own most valuable possession, his watch, to buy jewelled combs for Della's hair. Ironies and repetitions very clearly focus on misery living conditions and environment of the heroes. Comparisons and metaphors display better emotions and feelings of heroes. Through the juxtaposition of the characters’ inner feelings manifesting their spiritual wealth and the utmost poverty, they live in O. Henry declares the true value of love and human relations. While you listen online to English audiobook "The Gift of the Magi” for free you will discover a short story in which O. Henry used different stylistic devices, among which the comparison, epithet, metaphor, irony and repetition are the most frequent, aims to vividly visualize the inner wealth of the protagonists against the background of material poverty.

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