“The Gift of the Magi” by Henry

Henry’s “The gift of the magi” has several significant symbols such as a comb, a golden watch, and Della’s hair. Jim sells his watch to make a nice present for his beloved woman and gives away the most valuable thing he has. In this story, the watch symbolizes Jim’s connection with his family, the time and money that he presents to Della, thus, giving his love and showing the desire to connect their lives.

The watch has sentimental and material significance for Jim, since it is a family value but an expensive thing. Henry (1905/2017) says the watch is one of two things Jim is proud of, and the fact that it used to belong to his grandfather and father shows the importance of family bond. However, Jim demonstrates that he is ready to build his family by selling watches and is ready to give all his wealth to please his beloved. In addition, the watch is a symbol of time, so along with the gift, Jim shares his time with Della, with whom he wants to spend his whole life. Thus, the symbol of the watch has many meanings in the story and helps to reveal the feelings and relationships of the protagonists.

If someone wrote my life story, then my symbol would be a scarf that my mother gave me as a child. This scarf is bright, warm, and a little bit prickly, and it was my favorite because it stood out but did not attract too much attention and had beautiful colors. Although the scarf has become short for me, I still keep it, but it reminds me of childhood, home, and parents, and remains my favorite thing. At the same time, it seems to me that the scarf describes my character; thus, it would be an excellent symbol for my life story.


Henry, O. (1905/2017). The gift of the magi. American Literature..

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