Sketch the character of Della

Question: Sketch the character of Della.


“The Gift of the Magi” is a famous short story written by O. Henry (1862-1910). The plot of the story is about the passionate, pure, and sacrificial love of a young lower-class couple, Jim and Della. The maximum part of the story is covered by Della. Here we are going to sketch the character of Della in detail.

Physical and mental beauty

The token of an ideal couple of modern times is Jim and Della. Della has been painted with heavy physical beauty but her mental beauty excels her physical beauty because of her passionate love for her husband. The most attractive aspect of Della’s beauty is her long and silky hair that is absent in modern women. Such physical and mental beauty gives us the message that a conjugal life cannot be happy without mental fairness despite having physical fairness.

Very economical

At the very outset of the story, it is shown that Della is very thrifty. She saves1.87 dollars by heavy bargaining with shopkeepers. Whatever she buys, she tries to save some pennies for the future, especially to buy a gift for her husband since she is just a housewife.

Passionate love for husband

Della’s love for her husband is really heart touching. She sacrifices her long and silky hair to see a smile on her husband’s face on Christmas evening. When she calculates that she has only 1.87 dollars, she realizes that the amount is not sufficient to a nice for her husband. So, she sells her hair to Madame Sofronie for twenty dollars and buys a platinum pocket watch chain for Jim’s watch for $21, and becomes satisfied to find the perfect gift for Jim. Here, the gift is a symbol of Della’s passionate love for Jim.

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Very frank and outspoken

The most striking feature of Della’s character is that she is very frank. When Jim gives her a set of combs as a gift, she confesses that she has sold her hair to buy the chain of Jim’s watch. She tells her husband without hesitation that she has committed a crime by selling her hair but she does not become late to confess his fault. So, a wife like Della is a crying need in modern times.

Symbol of the Magi

The short story “The Gift of the Magi” is The Bible of love because three wise persons came to Jesus Christ at the time of his birth with precious gifts such as perfume and gold but the gifts were useless for child Jesus. Likewise, Jim and Della buy gifts for each other but finally, it is realized by both of them that their gifts are useless now since Jim has sold his watch to buy a set of combs and Della sells her hair to buy a chain for Jim’s watch. So, this dramatic romantic story of the couple teaches us about sacrificial and passionate love for husband and wife.


From the light of the above discussion, it is transparent that the writer has suggested the couples of the world to be very passionate and pure for preserving a happy conjugal life.

Ruhul Huda
Ruhul Huda

You can call me Mr. Huda. I am a researcher and doing this work for years. I like to learn everywhere. So, feel free to share your experience with me.

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