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The Gift of the Magi, O. Henry - Essay

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❶Henry's trick at the end. Henry went to the highways and byways of North and Central America for his plot material which he then juggled to his heart's content, while our students go to O.

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The fact that the subject and the solution to your future work and at what they want when they are browsing the web googling do my essay for you. Henryesquely gifted and are therefore not on the way to success. It is merely a dispassionate consideration of the profession of teaching story-writing and its existing standards and ethics. Henry story is held up as the supreme model, it is only fair to inquire into the results thus produced.

We have been so eloquent with pride on the progress of our short story. The quantity turned out annually is beyond the dreams of such a pioneer as Poe.

But the quality—ah, that is another story! What proportion of this wholesale output can be candidly, suppressing for the moment our desire to experience flattering sensations, added to our national literary treasury? And peculiar, is it not, that though we have been heaping the warmest of praise upon Richard Harding Davis and Clarence Budington Kelland and George Randolph Chester and Richard Washburn Child and Mary Roberts Rinehart and a score or more of our other popular writers, the few memorable stories that do come to mind were not written by these favorites.

How much of the O. Henryesque is to be found in Mary E. I am sufficiently steeped in our inspirational literature to be aware of the dangers of pessimism. But it is only logical to deduct that if all the O. Henry standards that we have so triumphantly established and extolled for the guidance of our story writers have failed to produce a single great story to compare with the best that other countries which do not preach and practice O.

Henryism have produced, there is something wrong with our standards. These are unusual times we are living in. Everything that has seemed to us wise and sound and sublime is coming in for a share of skepticism and revaluation.

Unquestionable things are being questioned. Is it not a propitious time to attempt a revaluation of our short-story dogmas? What is the contribution of O. Henryism to our national letters and to the short story as a form of literary expression? How great an artist really was William Sidney Porter, the founder of the Cult? Is it sacrilege to attempt to answer these questions?

Henry left us more than two hundred and fifty stories. In the decade before his death he turned out an average of twenty-five stories a year. Henry in trying to live up to a three-year contract he had with that paper calling for a story a week. There were weeks when O.

Henry would sit down and write the most ingenious excuses. Needless to state that O. Henry's stories bear all the marks of this haste and anxiety. The best of them lack depth and roundness, often disclosing a glint of a sharp idea unworked, untransmuted by thought and emotion. Of his many volumes of stories, The Four Million is without doubt the one which is most widely known. It was his bold challenge to the world that he was the discoverer—even though he gave the census taker due credit—of four million people instead of four hundred in America's metropolis that first attracted attention and admiration.

The implication was that he was imbued with the purpose of unbaring the lives of these four million and especially of the neglected lower classes. A truly admirable and ambitious self-assignment. And so we have The Four Million. But to what extent was he successful in carrying out his assignment. How much of the surging, shifting, pale, rich, orderly, chaotic, and wholly incongruous life of New York is actually pulsating in the twenty-five little stories collected in the volume?

It isn't New York, nor Tobin, nor any other character, that makes this story interesting. Henry's trick at the end. The prophecy is fulfilled, after all, in such an unexpected way, and we are such satisfied children! We have discussed it and analyzed it in our texts and lauded it everywhere. How much of the life of the four million does it hold up to us? It is better than the first story; yes, much better. But why is it a masterpiece?

Not because it tries to take us into the home of a married couple attempting to exist in our largest city on the husband's income English and American, University of London Press, , pp. Many English readers in the present generation received their first introduction to the American language in O. The American short story had lapsed into obscurity, so far as the rest of the world was concerned, after Bret Harte had run his course; and inasmuch as Ambrose Bierce was known to only a few on this side of the Atlantic, it was not until after O.

More and more the period became a time of accelerative mass entertainment. The serialized Sunday supplement stories of William S. Kin Hubbard's popular rural comic philosopher, Abe Martin, with his whiskers and striped trousers in accompanying cartoon drawings, appeared regularly in the newspapers; he was a There are two accounts, differing in significant details, of how O.

Since we intend to suggest such a source, these accounts are worth examining. According to one version, 2 Dan Smith sought out O. Henry, whose Christmas story he was to illustrate for the World.

Henry, who had not yet By the end of the nineteenth century the carefully made, ingeniously plotted story had become a well-established tradition, but it was during the first decade of the twentieth century that the type was carried to its ultimate lengths in the stories of O. None of his predecessors exploited the contrived story Each gives up his chief treasure Jim sells his watch, Della, her hair to buy the other a present, which is unexpectedly useless a watch fob for Jim, a set of combs for Della , but all the more beloved.

To be published with a slipcase, this handsomely designed volume includes several full-page illustrations that, with However, there are not many O. Henry stories that have the same power to reach young people today. Several of the 14 stories collected here are dated in subject and tone, and not too many readers Review of The Gift of the Magi. Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books 36, no. Search The Gift of the Magi.

Henry The following entry presents criticism on O. Plot and Major Characters On Christmas Eve, a young married woman named Della has cut and sold her long, beautiful hair to earn the rest of the money she needs for her husband's Christmas present: Major Themes Critics have noted the irony of the young couple sacrificing their most treasured possessions—Della's hair and Jim's watch—in order to buy each other gifts related to those same possessions.


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Dec 15,  · [In the following essay, Ward considers O. Henry's impact on the American short story and deems “The Gift of the Magi” the pinnacle of his literary achievement. Many English readers in the present generation received their first introduction to the American language in O. Henry's pages.

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The story "The Gift of the Magi" which is written by O. Henry follows a young married couple who sacrifice their most prized possessions to buy a Christmas gift for one another. Though the story tells the tale of two people, a large portion of the story involves following Della on her quest to find a gift for Jim.

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In the short story ³The Gift of the Magi², by O. Henry, the couple, Mr. and Mrs. Dillingham Young sacrificed their most prized possessions for one another. They did this in order to buy each other nice Christmas presents. ''The Gift of the Magi'' is a short story with a lot of symbolism and meaning. Below are essay prompts that will help students analyze the main themes and other elements of the story. For all essay topics, students should be asked to provide thorough textual evidence to support their response and inferences.

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Of all who give and receive gifts, such as they are the wisest. Everywhere they are the wisest. They are the magi. ” (Last Paragraph, lines 9 – 11) Theme 2: Sacrifice Sacrifice is an important theme of the story “the Gift of the Magi”. The story revolves around it and it is this theme that appeals the readers the most. The Gift of the Magi: Narritive Essay. Theme and Narrative Elements: The Gift of the Magi ENG Introduction to Literature Theme and Narrative Elements: The Gift of the Magi The Gift of the Magi is a short story that was written by William Sydney Porter, better known by his pseudonym O. Henry in O.