I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.

The Perception Of Marriage In The Kiss And The Gift Of The Magi

Marriage is an integral part of every person’s life. There are many different ways that people perceive marriage. We can see the differences in the characters of O. Henry’s story ‘The gift for the magi’ and Kate Chopin’s story ‘The kiss’.

It is quite profound to look at the depths of characters in “The gift of Magi” story. You can see that Jim and Della have big hearts, even though they lack material wealth. Della is loyal, with an inexhaustible love for her husband, and tries to save money for Jim’s Christmas gift. But she can’t save enough to pay for the gift. When she thinks that there was nothing she could do but cry on the bed, it is clear how much her love for Jim is. Finally, she sold her hair to pay for a gift. A golden chain to go with her beautiful gold watch. Jim, a loyal husband and loving father to Della, decides to sell his watch and buy his wife a gift. He ends up buying her a comb to do her hair. They realize how much they have sacrificed to purchase each other gifts and their love once more. O Henry describes them both as the wisest couples in existence, although it may not sound practical in real-life. The couple shows that it doesn’t matter how rich they are, but what is important is their love for one another. This couple is less loyal than the couple in the story. Nathalie, the wife, is shown as someone with hidden motives and who can turn bad situations into positive ones in her favor. However, this is not a positive portrayal. After being caught with an intimacies with a man she finds more romantic and fulfilling her fantasies, she convinced her husband the man was not only a good friend, but a brother. Nathalie is able to choose a husband that has all she desires and a marital affair with someone she fantasizes about. The relationship between husbands and wives is clearly not one that is ideal. She is averse to having both romance and wealth, and she shows very little loyalty and sincerity. This story portrays her as a dictatorial character. It is clear that she feels like a chessplayer who, through the clever handling his pieces, sees the game following its intended course” (Chopin Kate).

Della is the perfect example of a feminine woman. Nathalie is a totally different woman, who contrasts the softened image of women in that century with her outspokenness. O Henry refers to Della as the wisest of them all and Nathalie, on the other hand, is portraying Nathalie as pragmatic and loyal to her husband.


  • emmetthouse

    Emmett House is a 29 yo school teacher and blogger who is passionate about education. He has a vast amount of experience in the field and is always eager to share his insights with others. Emmett is a dedicated teacher who truly cares about his students' success. He is also an expert on using technology in the classroom, and is always looking for new ways to engage his students.

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