Introduction: What is “The Gift of the Magi”?
The Gift of the Magi is a short story by O. Henry that was published in 1906. One of his most famous works, it tells the story of a young married couple, Jim and Della, who struggle to buy each other Christmas gifts in spite of their limited income. When they are invited to a Christmas party, Jim’s boss offers to present the couple with a substantial gift to commemorate their marriage. Instead, Jim and Della choose to exchange gifts, despite the fact that they have nothing in common to give each other.
The Gift of the Magi is probably aimed at married couples who are newlyweds or are struggling with their marriage, but it is also likely that it was written shortly after O. Henry’s own marriage when he used his experiences as a model for the main character in the story.
It was first published in Putnam’s Magazine in 1906. The short story was later included in The O. Henry Stories, a collection of his short stories published by William Heinemann in 1930. It has been adapted into the film “The Gift of the Magi” (1925), and it also inspired a song by Johnny Mathis on his 1964 album “Mathis Christmas. “
Gender Bias in Children’s Literature
Gender Bias in Children’s Literature: The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry is a perfect example of this gender bias. In most children’s literature, characters are either male or female, and their distinguishing characteristics follow the stereotypes that are associated with these genders. In this story, two boys, Jim and Della and their sister, Mary, are all three main characters that are described as boys. This makes it harder for girls to be accepted as equally important characters in children’s literature because they are not seen as the main characters in the story.
A further example of gender bias is that boys are assumed to be smarter than girls. In “The Gift of Magi”, John and Mary, the two sisters outsmart their older brother, Jim. When John and Mary learn from Jim that Della sold her hair to have a chain for Jim’s watch, they lock him in a closet until he promises not to marry Della because she sold her hair for his watch. This shows that boys are not seen as smart enough to outsmart their sisters. Yet, as the end of the story shows, “Jim was just about to throw his arms around his sister and tell her that she was the best girl in the whole world and he wouldn’t trade her for a million dollars”, making John and Mary look like fools (O.Henry 342).
Male Characters vs Female Characters
The Gift of Magi is a short story written by O. Henry that was published in 1906. It tells the story of a young married couple, Jim and Della, who struggle to buy each other Christmas gifts in spite of their limited income. When they are invited to a Christmas party, Jim’s boss offers to present the gift of the magi to Jim and Della. During the story, Jim and Della are presented as being of the same sex, then later as being a man and a woman. According to the rules of grammar, they should have been referred to as being a married couple with a child and husband. The story is an example of the confusion caused by gender bias in language. There are three genders: male, female and neutral. Gender refers to how people identify themselves in society and it is necessary for clarity because there are three genders: male, female and neutral (male = female = neutral). If people were referred to by their gender, it would be very confusing. For example, a man could claim that he was male but the female could argue that he was a neutral and therefore the other gender.
The Gift of Magi is an example of this confusion in English because the pronouns are ambiguous. Strictly speaking, the story should be written from Jim’s point of view, but often people refer to Jim as a woman and Della as a man because there is no clear indication of their gender in the story. The Gift of Magi illustrates how gender can be ambiguous, which can cause confusion and misunderstanding.
Fairy Tales and Gender Roles
The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry is a perfect example of a fairy tale that teaches children gender roles. By referring to Jim and Della as boys, it is evident that this story is trying to teach children about how men should be. This can be seen when Jim and Della go shopping for each other’s gifts and they pretend that they are boys. They play as if they are boys that do not have the responsibility of supporting a wife and family. The fairy tale teaches children that men are the breadwinner while women stay at home and clean. The Gift of the Magi demonstrates that men should be strong, tough, and independent. Jim is portrayed as a man who focuses on his job and making money. He does not want to waste his time with Della’s gifts when he has to go to work so that he can make more money to support Della for the rest of their lives. By portraying Jim as a man who is tough and independent, it demonstrates that men should be this way. It also shows male children that they…
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