The Gift of the Magi Plot Diagram
Updated: 11/16/2018
The Gift of the Magi Plot Diagram
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Gift of the Magi Lesson Plans

The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry

Lesson Plans by Rebecca Ray and Bridget Baudinet

"The Gift of the Magi" is a touching Christmas tale about how far a husband and wife will go for one another, despite their poverty. To show their true love and devotion to one another, right before Christmas, Della and her husband Jim set out separately to purchase Christmas presents. Having less than three dollars in each of their pockets, they each make a great sacrifice in order to purchase the perfect gift for one another. Della sells her beautiful hair for $20 in order to buy her husband a platinum chain for his watch. Meanwhile, Jim sells his heirloom watch to buy a beautiful set of combs for Della to put in her hair.




The Gift of the Magi

Storyboard Description

The Gift of the Magi Plot Diagram

Storyboard Text

  • EXPOSITION
  • CONFLICT
  • RISING ACTION
  • WIG SHOP
  • When the story opens, Della and Jim are living in a simple flat on $20 a week. It is Christmas Eve and Della is lovingly dreaming of buying a gift for Jim.
  • CLIMAX
  • Della has only $1.87 to buy her husband a gift, which is not enough.
  • FALLING ACTION
  • Della decides to sell her hair for money so she can purchase a gift worthy of Jim. She gets $20 and uses it to purchase a platinum chain for Jim's heirloom watch.
  • RESOLUTION
  • Della and Jim exchange gifts. Jim has sold his watch to buy Della a beautiful set of combs. Neither one of them will be able to use their gifts.
  • Jim and Della decide to put their gifts away until they can both use them.
  • Despite their errors, Della and Jim still love one another, and learn a valuable lesson about sacrifice and love.
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