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'The Gift of the Magi' Questions for Study and Discussion

O. Henry's Famous Holiday Story - Love and Sacrifice


The Gift of the Magi

The Gift of the Magi

Candlewick Press
Study Guide
"The Gift of the Magi" is one of the greatest works by O. Henry. Here are a few questions for study and discussion.
  • What is important about the title?

  • What are the conflicts in "The Gift of the Magi"? What types of conflict (physical, moral, intellectual, or emotional) do you see in this story?

  • How does O. Henry reveal character in "The Gift of the Magi"?

  • What are some themes in the story? How do they relate to the plot and characters?

  • What are some symbols in "The Gift of the Magi"? How do they relate to the plot and characters?

  • Is Della consistent in her actions? Is she a fully developed character? How? Why?

  • Do you find the characters likable? Would you want to meet the characters?

  • Does the story end the way you expected? How? Why?

  • What is the central/primary purpose of the story? Is the purpose important or meaningful?

  • How does this short story compare with other works in holiday literature?

  • How essential is the setting to the story? Could the story have taken place anywhere else?

  • What is the role of women in the text? What about single/independent women?

  • Would you recommend this story to a friend?

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