In a story, irony occurs as soon as a situation doesn’t turn out as expected, as in O. Henry’s “The Gift the the Magi.” Authors use irony to add an element of humor into their works, come emphasize the ethical of a story or to do an audience ponder the underlying meaning of what a personality said, according to the Author’s handmade website. The irony that Henry gift in his short story teaches the reader around sacrifice and love.

You are watching: What is the irony in the gift of the magi

Summary that the Story

In “The Gift of the Magi,” Jim and also Della Dillingham Young space a young couple of modest means. They have two prized possessions: Jim’s bag watch, which formerly belonged come his father and grandfather, and Della’s lengthy hair. Top top Christmas Eve, the couple only had actually $1.87 to spend on presents for each other. Henry explains at the finish of the short story the they sacrificed the best treasures the they own so they could purchase product possessions. The sacrifice, however, resulted in the understanding that friend cannot placed a price on love, and that the true gift the the pair received to be the wisdom to establish this concept and acknowledge every other’s sacrifices.

Verbal Irony

Verbal irony is once a character says something that contrasts with literal an interpretation of his words, or claims something that doesn’t align v a particular situation. This type of irony deserve to come in the form of sarcasm, overstatements or understatements, according to Kansas State University. In “The Gift of the Magi,” Henry supplies verbal irony after revealing that the Dillingham Youngs only had actually $1.87 because that gifts: “There was plainly nothing to do however flop down on the shabby tiny couch and howl. Therefore Della go it. Which instigates the moral reflection that life is comprised of sobs, sniffles, and smiles, through sniffles predominating.” This i is ironic together it mirrors Della feeling sorry because that herself and also her gaue won predicament also though not having much money because that a gift, in reality, is no that tragic. After ~ Della sells she hair come buy Jim’s present, Henry writes, “She obtained out her curling irons and also lighted the gas and went to work repairing the ravages made by generosity added to love. I beg your pardon is constantly a remarkable task, dear friends -- a mammoth task.” Henry is gift sarcastic once he says that act of charitable love has results that are hard to overcome and suggests that much shorter hair is hard to style.

Dramatic Irony

Dramatic irony is as soon as a reader knows more about a case than a character in a story, do a case suspenseful or humorous. In the “Gift of the Magi,” dramatic irony occurs once Della opens the gift indigenous Jim, a collection of tortoise covering combs, and briefly forgets the her hair isn’t long enough to undertake them. Dramatic irony may likewise occur if a leader guesses in development that Jim marketed his watch to buy the desire combs.

Situational Irony

Situational irony occurs as soon as there’s an unforeseen outcome in a story. An example is when Jim comes home from work and sees Della’s quick hair. The reality that he purchased hair combs for Della demonstrates that he didn’t suppose her to market her hair. The case is additionally ironic because that Della due to the fact that she wanted a pair of tortoise shell combs, yet didn’t suppose to receive them together a gift. Another example of situational irony is as soon as Jim unexpectedly receives the fob that Della gave him for his watch, but Della didn’t know that he sold it. Henry add to a twist toward the finish of the story once Jim claims to Della, “Let"s put our Christmas presents away and also keep "em a while. They"re too nice to use simply at present. I marketed the watch to obtain the money to buy her combs. And also now intend you placed the chops on." instead of gaining upset around the gifts that they can not use, i m sorry a reader can expect, Jim is happy to relocate past the situation and eat dinner. In the last paragraph of the story, Henry points the end that the sacrifices that Jim and Della produced each various other were more valuable 보다 the gifts themselves.

See more: 2010 Chevy Hhr Camshaft Position Sensor Location, 2010 Chevrolet Hhr Camshaft Position Sensor

Flora Richards-Gustafson has actually been writing professionally because 2003. She creates copy because that websites, marketing materials and printed publications. Richards-Gustafson specializes in SEO and also writing about small-business strategies, health and beauty, internal design, emergency preparedness and education. Richards-Gustafson obtained a Bachelor that Arts indigenous George Fox college in 2003 and was known by Cambridge's "Who's Who" in 2009 as a leading woman entrepreneur.