, “The Necklace” And “The Gift Of The Magi” Essay, Research Paper
The irony in the short stories, “The Necklace” and “The Gift of the Magi,” ought to be further analyzed. Through examination of this element in literature the reader can derive many morals and themes that could be useful in their own lives. “The Necklace” is a perfect example of irony and sends many powerful messages to the reader. On one level the reader learns that cheating and lying are not always the best policy. Because of M. and Mdm. Loisel s poor judgment and choice to lie to Mdm. Forestier they lost everything in order to repay Mathilde s friend. They become even more devastated at the end of the story when Mdm. Loisel approaches Mdm. Forestier with the truth, ten years after the initial incident. Mdm. Forestier replies, “Oh, my poor Mathilde! Mine was false. It was worth five hundred francs at the most!”(198) Another lesson to be learned from this story is that grace and beauty are not always the most important things in the world. Mathilde was describes as ” one of those pretty, charming young women who are born, as if by an error of Fate, into a petty officials family. She had no dowry, no hopes, not the slightest chance of being appreciated, understood, loved, and being married by a rich and distinguished man “(193) She had non of the things that, in her mind, were the most important and desirable. In the end her beauty and grace was destroyed by the very things she held most dear. In conclusion, “The Necklace” sends many strong morals that can be seen from the many levels of irony in the story.
The Irony of “The gift of the Magi” gives the reader the moral that the love that come with the giving of a gift is more important than the actual object received. All Della needed was $1.87 for her gift for Jim, but what she didn t realize was that it was the care, planning, and the sacrifice that went into getting Jim s pocket watch chain. She even went so far as to sacrifice her hair, her most prized possession, and sold it to afford the gift for Jim. Jim on the other hand felt just as strong about getting a special gift for Della. He in turn gave up his pocket watch, a family heirloom, in order to afford hair clips that Della could not use without her long hair. At the end of the story the author relates to us that, “But in a last word to the wise of these days let it be said that of all who give gifts these two were the wisest. Of all who receive and give gifts, such as they are the wisest. Everywhere they are the wisest. They are the magi.”(178) Jim and Della are the wise gift givers in that they realized it was the love that went with the gift that mattered, not the gift itself. In Conclusion, Gifts must be given from the heart if they are to be a true gift. The irony of Jim and Della s exchange of gifts states this quite clearly.