O' Henry is recognised as one of the representative short story writers of America. He usually presented an incident from the life in general and he also escapes from the grim realities of life. His stories are brief. They usually open with a conversation. The endings are usually surprising. They are powerful sources of humour. He expresses himself through slangs. His verbal energy and metaphors are typically American.
O' Henry is one of the most beloved writers in the world. From Shakespeare he took the art of punning. From Lamb he acquired gentleness, sympathy for the downtrodden, mild irony and pathetic humour. Under the influence of Lamb he acquired the art of word coinage and Latinism in language. As a story writer he punctures the bubble of middle class hypocrisy.
The Gift Of Magi is one of the finest short stories of O' Henry. It is one of those rare stories on which the future reputation of O' Henry finally rests. This is a popular christian story. This is a tale of urban living marked by wry humour and surprise ending.
The title of this story is appropriate. The husband and the wife are really magi. Through this story O' Henry proves that love gives one courage to sacrifice. The ironical ending moves the hearts of the readers. The characters are real life characters who are too sensitive to each other's want. They give a universal appeal to the story. The use of slang, interesting similes and colloquial words give a conversational flavour to the style.
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