The fundamental metaphor of Henry's short story "The Gift of the Magi" links a young couple's unselfish love to the generosity of the Biblical wise men—magi—who delivered gifts to baby Jesus. This analogy helps readers understand why the young man and woman sacrifice their own needs for others.
In the story, an old friend of the family has fallen on hard times and is unable to pay his rent. His wife is dying and they have no money to pay for a doctor. Desperate, the husband goes to see if any of his friends can help him out. No one will take him in, so he decides to go visit some old friends of his father's up in Boston. There, he meets an older man named Bartleby who works as a clerk in a large corporation. Impressed by his friend's talents, Bartleby invites him to come work with him in his office.
Meanwhile, back in Kansas, the wife is sick with fever and pain. Her husband wants to send for help, but she tells him not to worry about it because she knows the people in Boston and thinks they can afford a doctor. Before he leaves, though, she asks her friend to take care of their son while she is away. The boy's name is Chrisitanity, and she says that he is too young to be left alone.
O. Henry's best-known and most-loved story is "The Gift of the Magi." This is primarily due to his metaphorical language's loving, sympathetic exaggeration. Because of their profound affection for one another, Jesus makes these destitute individuals appear wealthy and even distinguished. They are called "the magi" which means "kings" or "princes". The term applies to any traveler from a distant country who came to see Jesus.
Figurative language is language that does not literally describe what it represents. For example, when we say someone has a beautiful mind, we are using figurative language because "beauty" and "mind" cannot be physically seen or touched. The phrase comes from Ayn Rand's novel, "The Fountainhead", when an architect is describing how beautiful her client's home is. She uses only physical objects to do so (roofs, windows, etc.) but she knows that beauty is in the eye of the beholder so to speak. She wants to encourage him to build more homes like this one.
In "The Gift of the Magi", O. Henry uses figurative language to create sympathy for the characters by saying that they come from "a far away country". They belong to the upper class and they are known for being wise. All in all, they are respected members of society who have traveled here to see Jesus.
"The Gift of the Magi" is about a young couple who give up everything they own in order to offer each other the finest Christmas present possible. The magi's gifts to Jesus had to be smart as well (as the narrator of "The Gift of the Magi" suggests at the end of the story). They gave Jesus gifts of wisdom, knowledge, and power. That's why the book is called "The Wise Men's Story."
Here are the gifts that the magi brought for Jesus:
1. Gold from the land of Israel (probably in the form of a crown) - which symbolizes royal authority. This shows that the magi wanted to make Jesus king.
2. Frankincense - which is used in religious rituals to show honor to God. This means that the magi were trying to make Jesus part of their religion.
3. Myrrh - which is used in religious rituals to help dead people go to heaven. The magi probably thought that by giving Jesus this gift, they would make him feel better about death.
This story takes place in the Middle East, so the gifts the magi gave Jesus must have been valuable ones. But what do these things have to do with Christmas? The answer is that Christmas is a time when we remember these gifts that were given years ago.
The story's title, "The Gift of Magi," is a reference to the three wise men, or magi, who were present at the birth of infant Jesus to deliver their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh to the newborn Jesus. These gifts were important in the culture where the story takes place; gold was used as currency at that time, so the gift of gold was very valuable. Frankincense was used as an incense in religious ceremonies, so it was considered holy even though it made the room smell like rotten eggs. Myrrh was used to treat pain and fever, so it was useful for an infant. Together, these gifts represented the ultimate sacrifice for another person - Jesus gave his life so we could have eternal life.
In addition to these gifts, there is also a fourth gift included in the story: love. This last gift was important since nothing else was really needed to prove our love - only our willingness to give our allow something precious to others.
This story takes place during the time of Christ's birth to adult life, which means it can be found in the New Testament. However, this story has been changed a little from how it appears in the Bible.