Presentation on theme: "O. Henry English 9A Mr. Shimizu Nov. 2013. Born in NC in 1862 as William Sydney Porter (O Henry is his penname); mom died of TB when he was 3 Settled."— Presentation transcript:
Born in NC in 1862 as William Sydney Porter (O Henry is his penname); mom died of TB when he was 3 Settled in Austin, TX with a rich wife; indicted for embezzling funds while a bank teller; fled to Honduras but returned to TX when he heard his wife was too ill to join him; she died of TB Sentenced to 5 yrs. in an OH prison but got out in 3 yrs. for good behavior; moved to NYC and wrote for magazines; became a heavy drinker … Wrote about ordinary people, often in NY; his 300 short stories were known for warm characterization & twist endings. Died at 47 from cirrhosis of the liver, diabetes, and an enlarged heart
According to the Bible, three magi (variously interpreted as kings, priests and scholars) journeyed to Bethlehem to present the baby Jesus with frankincense, gold and myrrh, all traditionally given to kings. Some traditions hold that they converted to Christianity and were martyred for their faith (linking gift-giving with sacrifice).
More Biblical imagery on p. 526: First Kings 10: 1-13 … The Queen of Sheba, hearing of King Solomon’s wisdom, visited him in Israel and brought with her large quantities of gold, spices, and precious stones as tribute. Solomon reciprocated by freely giving her whatever she desired. Solomon and the Queen of Sheba were romantically linked in Christian lore and showered each other with gifts—just like Jim and Della in the story. Solomon, like the Three Magi, was famous for his wisdom.
PREVIEW OF CONFLICT Della wants to find her husband Jim the perfect gift for Christmas … the problem is, she only has $1.87 to spend. She decides to buy Jim a watch fob—basically, a decorative pendant and attached chain for pocket watches. It kept the watch secured to a man’s waistcoat.
CHARACTER S DELLA DILLINGHAM= protagonist; married to Jim; possesses beautiful long brown hair JIM DILLINGHAM= Della’s husband; makes $20/week; possesses an heirloom pocket watch inherited from his grandfather NARRATOR= not your ordinary, detached commentator; narrates the story as if telling it to you out loud
P.O.V IN “THE GIFT OF THE MAGI” Third-person narrator intrudes into the story; speaks warmly about Jim and Della While the mistress of the home is gradually subsiding from the first stage to the second, take a look at the home. … Out of his trance, Jim seemed quickly to awake. He enfolded his Della. For ten seconds let us regard with discreet scrutiny some inconsequential object in the other direction. O. Henry uses a conversational style that makes it seem like the narrator is telling the reader the story aloud.
PREVIEW OF THEME Christmas is traditionally a time of sacrifice and gift- giving … What things are worth sacrificing for? What is the meaning of gift giving?
“The Gift of the Magi” is a parable. Parables are simple stories told to illustrate a spiritual or moral lesson (how you should behave). Different from fables because they involve people rather than animals Sketched setting Actions and consequences illustrating a universal truth.
QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT 1.What is the climax of this story? 2.What makes the twist ending ironic? 3.What is the significance of the title? In other words, why do you think O. Henry gave the story this title?