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Title: The%20Gift%20of%20the%20Magi%20by%20O.%20Henry


1
The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry
Feature Menu
Introducing the Story Literary Focus Situational
Irony Reading Focus Analyzing Details Writing
Focus Think as a Reader/Writer
2
The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry
What kinds of sacrifices would you make for a
person who mattered to you?
3
The Gift of the Magi Introducing the Story
Click on the title to start the video.
4
The Gift of the MagiIntroducing the Story
They have each other, but Della and Jim dont
have much more than that. Still, its Christmas,
and each wants the best for the other.
How much will each one give to make sure that the
other will have a very merry Christmas?
End of Section
5
The Gift of the MagiLiterary Focus Situational
Irony
Situational irony occurs when our expectations
are contradicted by reality. We believe that one
thing will happen, but something entirely
different occurs.
Situational irony is essential to the meaning of
The Gift of the Magi.
6
The Gift of the MagiLiterary Focus Situational
Irony
What is the situational irony in this passage?
Dave was thrilledhed just won his first victory
as a professional race car driver. Hed been
amazing on the track, reaching incredible speeds
and carefully avoiding the various wrecks that
had taken other drivers out of the race. He
couldnt wait to tell his family about his
triumph. He was reliving his masterful driving as
he pulled into the driveway -and hit the family
car.
What do you expect to happen when a professional
driver parks a car?
Does Daves situation match your expectations?
7
The Gift of the MagiLiterary Focus Situational
Irony
Situational irony occurs when your expectation is
contradicted by Daves unfortunate reality.
Expectation Dave won a difficult race he must
be a skilled driver.
Reality Maybe hes not so skilled-judging by the
looks of the family car, anyway.
8
The Gift of the Magi Literary Focus Situational
Irony
The story youre about to read is one of
literatures most famous examples of situational
irony.
Now there were two possessions of the James
Dillingham Youngs in which they both took a
mighty pride. One was Jims gold watch that had
been his fathers and his grandfathers. The
other was Dellas hair.
As you read The Gift of the Magi, consider your
expectations about what will occur. Compare
those expectations to what happens.
End of Section
9
The Gift of the MagiReading Focus Analyzing
Details
Writers use details to share information about
characters, settings, and events. These details
bring stories to life, often showing more than
they tell.
The little house sat on a patch of neatly clipped
grass, punctuated by a lovingly tended rose bush.
Its front walk, freshly swept and bordered by
petunias, led to the crumbling sidewalk that
separated the yard from the trash-strewn gutter.

The little house sat on a patch of neatly clipped
grass, punctuated by a lovingly tended rose bush.
Its front walk, freshly swept and bordered by
petunias, led to the crumbling sidewalk that
separated the yard from the trash-strewn gutter.

The little house sat on a patch of neatly clipped
grass, punctuated by a lovingly tended rose bush.
Its front walk, freshly swept and bordered by
petunias, led to the crumbling sidewalk that
separated the yard from the trash-strewn gutter.

Details about setting show that the residents
seem to take pride in their home.
Other details indicate that the neighborhood may
be neglected and run-down.
10
The Gift of the Magi Reading Focus Analyzing
Details
Into Action Use a chart to record details, their
locations in the story, and their significance.
Into Action Detail Chart
Story Details
Significance
Emphasizes run-down conditions and poverty.
Buzzer doesnt work. (p. 370)
Indicates that theyve lost a third of their
previous income.
Income fell to 20. (p. 370)
End of Section
11
The Gift of the Magi Writing Focus Think as a
Reader/Writer
Find It in Your Reading
O. Henrys third-person narrator makes his or her
presence known in telling this story.
She got out her curling irons and lighted the gas
and went to work repairing the ravages made by
generosity added to love. Which is always a
tremendous task, dear friendsa mammoth task.
As you read, note places where the narrator
directly addresses the reader or offers
commentary.
End of Section
12
Vocabulary
13
The Gift of the MagiVocabulary
agile adj. moving with ease.
prudence n. caution good judgment.
scrutiny n. close inspection.
coveted v. used as adj. longed for.
ardent adj. passionate extremely enthusiastic.
14
The Gift of the MagiVocabulary
The word agile can be used to describe a persons
physical as well as mental abilities.
Each person moves with ease.
15
The Gift of the MagiVocabulary
Which of these houses of cards appears to have
been constructed by the more agile person?
16
The Gift of the MagiVocabulary
The solid construction of the house on the right
suggests that its builder was agile,
demonstrating great ease of movement.
17
The Gift of the MagiVocabulary
A person who shows prudence is careful and
cautious.
Which of these children shows more prudence?
18
The Gift of the MagiVocabulary
The child on the left, with his many life
jackets, shows more prudence. The boy on the
right is less safety-conscious.
19
The Gift of the MagiVocabulary
The FBIs background checks involve high levels
of scrutiny Investigators take a very close look
at each job candidate.
Why might intense scrutiny of employees be needed
in organizations that handle secret materials?
20
The Gift of the MagiVocabulary
The politician felt that the reporter was unfair
in her scrutiny of his background.
Which word would be the best replacement for
scrutiny? a. ignorance b. criticism c.
examination
21
The Gift of the MagiVocabulary
The politician felt that the reporter was unfair
in her scrutiny of his background.
Which word would be the best replacement for
scrutiny? a. ignorance b. criticism c.
examination
22
The Gift of the MagiVocabulary
The word coveted describes something that is
greatly desired but often not easily attained.
Though his award-winning cookies were coveted by
many people, he baked them only for a select few.
Of all the gifts youve ever received, which was
most coveted? Why?
23
The Gift of the MagiVocabulary
Jessica owned what other students considered the
worlds most coveted clothing. Which of the
following most likely describes the contents of
her closet? a. outdated clothes b. stylish
clothes c. boring clothes
24
The Gift of the MagiVocabulary
Jessica owned what other students considered the
worlds most coveted clothing. Which of the
following most likely describes the contents of
her closet? a. outdated clothes b. stylish
clothes c. boring clothes
25
The Gift of the MagiVocabulary
Ardent comes from a word that originally meant to
burn. Now, ardent is used in a figurative sense,
describing a feeling of burning enthusiasm.
What topics, beliefs, or activities seem to
trigger ardent feelings among teens?
26
The Gift of the MagiVocabulary
Andrea had ardent beliefs about freedom of speech
and freedom of the press. How is she likely to
react if her column in the school newspaper is
censored? a. Shes likely to apologize. b.
Shes likely to remain calm. c. Shes likely to
protest angrily.
27
The Gift of the MagiVocabulary
Andrea had ardent beliefs about freedom of speech
and freedom of the press. How is she likely to
react if her column in the school newspaper is
censored? a. Shes likely to apologize. b.
Shes likely to remain calm. c. Shes likely to
protest angrily.
28
The End
29
QuickWrite
30
The Gift of the Magi QuickWrite
Think about stories, movies, or real-life events
in which people make sacrifices for their
families, friends, or even their countries. What
motivates people to make such sacrifices? Write
down your thoughts.
End of Section
31
Meet the Writer
32
The Gift of the MagiMeet the Writer
O. Henry, whose real name was William Sydney
Porter, grew up in North Carolina but moved to
Texas when he was twenty. Accused of stealing a
thousand dollars from the bank where he worked,
he fled to Central America. However, news of his
wifes illness brought him back. On his return,
he was arrested and sentenced to five years in
prison.
33
The Gift of the MagiMeet the Writer
Ironically, if Porter had not fled, he might have
been found innocent The loss of the money may
have been due to poor bank management, not
theft. In prison, Porter wrote more than a dozen
stories and absorbed the underworld lore he used
in his fiction. In 1901, he left prison and went
to New York, where he continued to write. He
wrote more than six hundred stories altogether.
More About the Writer
End of Section
34
Build Background
35
The Gift of the Magi Build Background
The Magi referred to in the title of this story
are the three wise men who, according to the
New Testament, brought gifts of frankincense and
myrrh (substances prized for their fragrance), as
well as gold to the infant Jesus.
Traditionally, the Magis gifts are regarded as
the first Christmas presents.
36
Preview the Selection
37
The Gift of the MagiPreview the Selection
Della and Jim, the main characters in this story,
have little money, but they do have two prized
possessionsand their love for each other.
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