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Presentation on theme: "“THE GIFT OF THE MAGI” By O. Henry. DAY 1 OF “THE GIFT OF THE MAGI”"— Presentation transcript:



3 ACTIVATOR  If you could save just one item from a disaster—a fire, a flood, an earthquake—what would it be? In the form of a paragraph, describe your most cherished possession, and explain why you treasure it. Was it a gift? If so, how does that make it especially important to you?


5 MAKING PREDICTIONS  We read because we are curious. A writer sets up an intriguing situation, and we read on because we want to know what happens.  As we read, we make guesses, or predictions, about what will happen.

6 MAKING PREDICTIONS, CONT. Predictions Our understanding of plot. Our own life experiences. Clues within the text.

7 ANNOTATING TO MAKE PREDICTIONS  Remember that annotating means that you add notes to a text giving explanation or comment.  As you read “The Gift of the Magi,” keep a record of your predictions as a way of annotating the text.  To get started, read the first paragraph and then ask yourself, “What will happen next?” Write down the paragraph and page number, and then write your answer.  Make at least five predictions as you read the short story.


9 IRONY AND SURPRISE ENDING  “The Gift of the Magi” incorporates situational irony.  Della sold her hair to buy Jim a chain for his watch.  Jim sold his watch to buy Della combs for her hair.  A surprise ending is used to bring out this situational irony.  Surprise ending : the reader doesn’t expect the ending, but it is still both logical and believable.  Irony and surprise endings are often used in order to help develop the theme of a text.

10 SUMMARIZER: TICKET OUT THE DOOR  Complete the “Literary Analysis: Irony” on page 267 of the textbook. Complete 1a, 1b, 2a, and 2b.  Note: Question 1b is asking you about the theme, using the synonym “message” in its place.


12 PLOT OVERVIEW  Setting : Place-New York City in the Youngs’ shabby apartment; Time-1905, Christmas Eve.  Protagonists : Della and Jim Dillingham Young  External Conflict : Man vs. Society-Jim and Della struggle financially  Internal Conflict : Della has a struggle within herself about selling her hair to buy Jim a gift.  Point of View : Third Person Limited-centers on Della and observes what she sees, hears, feels, or does.  Climax : Jim reveals that he bought Della The Combs for Christmas.

13 CHARACTERS  Both Jim and Della are round and dynamic.  We know they are poor in money, but rich in love.  We know that they are willing to make great sacrifices for each other.  Both of them change at the story’s conclusion because they become wiser, learning that the wisest gifts are those that can’t be bought (the theme of the story).

14 ALLUSION  They brought gifts of frankincense and myrrh (substances prized for their fragrance) as well as gold to the infant Jesus.  Traditionally, the Magi’s gifts are regarded as the first Christmas presents.  The Magi referred to in the title and story’s ending are the three “wise men” from the Bible.

15 ALLUSIONS AND HYPERBOLES  There are references to the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon from the Bible.  The narrator exaggerates how precious Della’s hair is by stating that the Queen of Sheba would be jealous of Della’s hair.  He also exaggerates how valuable Jim’s watch is by stating that King Solomon would be jealous of Jim’s watch.  Both of these hyperboles serve to point out how special Della’s hair and Jim’s watch are to them.

16 IMAGERY  “So now Della’s beautiful hair fell about her rippling and shining like a cascade of brown waters. It reached below her knee and made itself almost a garment for her.”  This description tells readers what Della’s hair looks like, and also conveys Della’s feelings toward her hair. She prizes her hair and knows it is beautiful.  Note that the first sentence is a simile, and the second is a metaphor.

17 PERSONIFICATION  When Jim gives Della The Combs, the narrator explains that “her heart had simply craved and yearned over them.”  Her heart is being personified, as if it can crave and yearn for something.

18 MOOD  The mood of the story is very suspenseful.  Suspense : excitement or tension that readers feel as they become involved in a story.  Suspense builds particularly when Jim arrives and Della can’t read his expression.  Was it one of anger? Or Surprise? What will Jim say and do next?

19 ALLITERATION  Alliteration : the repetition of consonant sounds in words that are close to one another, typically occurs at the beginning of words.  Examples:  The narrator says that "Life is made up of sobs, sniffles, and smiles.”  The narrator describes Della as speaking with "sudden serious sweetness.“  In both examples, the “s” consonant sound is repeated at the beginning of words.  Alliteration is typically used to provide emphasis, therefore drawing the reader’s attention to something important.

20 SYMBOLISM  The number 3 is used as a symbol throughout the story.  Write 3 of the following examples:  3 characters: Della, Jim, and Madame Sofronie.  Della counts her money 3 times.  The Queen of Sheba gave 3 types of gifts to King Solomon: spices, gold, and jewels.  The word “gray” is used 3 times to describe the setting.  Not “a haircut or a shave or a shampoo” could make Jim like Della less—3 things.  The two examples of alliteration repeat the “s” sound 3 times.  The were 3 magi from 3 different places, who brought 3 different gifts.  Ultimately, the number 3 ties back to the 3 magi, who represent the wisdom of Jim and Della’s love for one another.

21 TONE AND DICTION  The tone of this story is very wise and caring.  Wise because the narrator seems to possess a great deal of knowledge about the world.  Caring because the narrator conveys how fond he is of Della and Jim.  Often in stories, especially “The Gift of the Magi,” the diction has a great impact on the tone and meaning of the text.  Diction : style of speaking or writing determined by the choice of words by a speaker or a writer.

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