The theme for "The Gift of the Magi" is that love is more important than any material item. Della and Jim, the two main characters, demonstrated the theme. This theme also occurs in the "real world."
The theme in this short story has a deep meaning. One way to interpret the theme is that love will last a lifetime, and material gifts will not. Another interpretation is that people will always remember how much they love someone or how much someone loves them, but they will not necessarily remember a certain material gift. Also, many people can give more love than money can buy and it is often valued more.
This theme is demonstrated in this story in numerous ways. "Don't make any mistake Dell; he said about me. I don't think there is anything in the way of a haircut or shave or a shampoo that could make me like my girl any less." (O. Henry p177.) Also, this theme is demonstrated at the end of the story. Della was upset that she did not have a gift for Jim, so she sold what she loved most to show her love for him. She sold her hair to buy a chain for Jim's watch, but it was ironic that Jim had sold his watch to buy combs for Della's hair. They each wanted to give a gift related to each other's most prized possession and they both were willing to sacrifice their most prized possession. Neither gift was useful at the time but it was a sign of their love.
This theme not only relates to this short story but it relates to life. For example, Mother Theresa gave her love for the world, but she was not rich. She had more to give in the way of love. Another example was a family who adopted many children, regardless of their handicaps, and loved them, which was something that money cannot buy. Finally, there are many people who volunteer their time and show their love is worth more than material things.
In conclusion, the definition of wealth means more than money; it also includes love and happiness. The theme, love is for more important than any material gift, is shown through "The Gift of the Magi" and in everyday life. This is one reason why so many people are wealthy but do not have money. It also indicates that may people have money but are not wealthy.
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