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The Gift of the Magi - An O'Henry Story

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  • United States
  • English

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The Gift of the Magi may be the second most widely read O’Henry story in grammar, middle, and high school. The Ransom of Red Chief rates number one. Young readers have a slightly more difficult time relating to two young married people, old after all to them, than can relate to 10 year old Red Chief, his father who makes the kidnappers pay him back in order to take Red Chief off their hands plus come in darkness so others don’t jail them, and all the antics and excitement of it all. The Gift of the Magi is not read or heard widely after one leaves high school, which is a shame because it is such a magical story about expectations being crushed by realities, and the turn of events which O’Henry was so masterful at achieving, as in The Ransom of Red Chief, the other best known O’Henry story that Simply has also recorded. The interesting twist is these two people both sacrifice for the other but that means neither gift works as planned. However, and O’Henry is full of howevers, the two are deeply in love and shrug it off and move on in their happiness. A final thought for the reader: Is there anyone similar to O’Henry in style? We can’t think of one and that is another reason to listen to these stories. As with all Simply short stories, you should enjoy the ideas put forth in the introduction and afterword. Things to think about or write about if a student. O'Henry's other two best loved stories are also recorded: The Cop and the Anthem and A Retrieved Reformation. Keywords: Ransom of Red Chief, Southwestern humor, Mark Twain, Gift of the Magi, O’Henry, New York, the Four Million, The Trimmed Lamp.
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