OUTPACE POEM ANALYSIS TEXTBOOK QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS OF The Gift of the Magi by – O. Henry Karnataka Board Chap-3

TEXTBOOK QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS OF The Gift of the Magi by – O. Henry Karnataka Board Chap-3

 You are going to go through TEXTBOOK QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS OF The Gift of the Magi by – O. Henry Karnataka Board Chap-3. Understanding a poem meticulously in its entirety is very important for a learner for scoring better in the exam. Efforts have been made to ensure a thorough and proper Textbook Answers Let us find TEXTBOOK QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS OF The Gift of the Magi by – O. Henry Karnataka Board Chap-3

TEXTBOOK QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS OF The Gift of the Magi by  - O. Henry Karnataka Board Chap-3


A. Answer briefly the following questions.

1. How did Della save her one dollar and eighty-seven cents?

=Della save her one dollar and eighty-seven cents by bulldozing the grocer and the vegetable man and the butcher until one’s cheeks

burned with the silent imputation of parsimony that such close dealing implied.

2. The writer gives details of Jim’s flat. Pick out the details.

= A furnished flat at $8 per week. There was nothing much to describe the flat. In the vestibule below was a letter-box into which no letter would go and an electric button from which no mortal finger could coax a ring and a card bearing the name “Mr. James Dillingham Young.”

3. The card bearing the full name of Jim now had only one letter ‘D’ on it. State whether the statement is true or false.

=The statement is True.

4. What were the most precious possessions of Jim and Della?

=The most precious possession of Jim was the gold watch that had been his father’s and his grandfather’s before him.

Della’s most precious possession was her long shining hair that fell like a cascade of brown waters.

5. How has the writer compared Della’s hair to Queen of Sheba’s jewels?

=The writer compared Della’s hair to Queen of Sheba’s jewels and said that Della would have let her hair hang out of the window some day to dry just to depreciate Her Majesty’s jewels and gifts.

6. How has the writer compared Jim’s watch to King Solomon’s treasures?

=The writer compared Jim’s watch to King Solomon’s treasures and said that Jim would have pulled out his watch every time he passed, just to see him pluck at his beard from envy.

7. Why did Della decide to sell her hair?

=Della decided to sell her hair for buying a good gift for Jim with the money she would get.

8. How much money did she get for her hair?

=By selling her hairs Della got $20.

9. What did Della buy for Jim?

=Della bought a platinum fob chain in place of the old leather strap for Jim’s gold watch.

10.How was the gift worthy of the watch?

=The platinum fob chain bought for Jim was simple and chaste in design, properly proclaiming its value by substance alone and not by meretricious ornamentation.

11.The writer says that the platinum chain was like Jim. How?

=The writer says that as soon as Della saw the chain she knew that it must be Jim’s. It was like him. Quietness and value – the description applied to both.

12.What did Della try to fix before Jim got home?

=Della tried to fix her small hairs. She got out her iron for curling it.

13. What was Jim’s reaction when he saw Della without her lovely hair?

=Jim stopped inside the door, as immovable as a setter at the scent of quail. His eyes were fixed upon Della, and there was an expression in them that she could not read, and it terrified her. It was not anger, nor surprise, nor disapproval, nor horror, nor any of the sentiments that she had been prepared for. He simply stared at her fixedly with that peculiar expression on his face.

14. What was Jim’s gift for Della? Give a brief description of the gift.

=Jim had brought a set of side black combs which Della wanted for a very long time.

The combs brought by Jim was expensive and beautiful, pure tortoiseshell, with jeweled rims – just the shade to wear in the beautiful vanished hair.

15. Were the gifts useful to each other?

=No, the gift brought for each other was not useful to either of them.

Della chopped her hairs for gifting Jim a platinum chain for his gold watch and other hands Jim too sold his precious watch to gift Della a beautiful comb.

16. How did Della react when she saw Jim’s gift for her?

=Having got those beautiful, precious combs her heart had simply craved and yearned over them without the least hope of possession. She hugged those combs to her bosom, and at length, she was able to look up with dim eyes and a smile and pray that her hairs grew fast.

17. Jim and Della both gave up something dear to them. What does it tell us about them?

=After reading the story we come to know that Jim and Della are a loving couple. On their hard days, just to gift each other, surprise them and make them happy they sold their most precious thing. Even though the gifts were turned out to be useless in the end, they possessed love, care for each other.

18. O. Henry’s stories often blend humor and pathos. The description of the card bearing Jim’s name is an example of this. Can you identify one more example from the story?

=Della’s gift for Jim was another example.

After Jim saw the gift he gives a smile and tells Della to put away their Christmas presents for some time, as they were too nice to use just at that time.

19. Who were the Magi?

=The Magi were the wise men who brought gifts to the newborn Jesus. According to the Bible, who traveled to Bethlehem from somewhere in the East.

20. What is the writer’s last word to the wise men of these days?

=The writer says that in the 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 give and receive gifts, such as they are wisest. Everywhere they are wisest. They are the Magi.

Close Study

Read the following extracts carefully. Discuss in pairs and then write the answers to the questions given below them.

1. She got out her curling irons and lighted the gas and went to work repairing the ravages made by generosity added to love.

a) What does “generosity” refer to?

=Generosity refers to the courage Della has shown. Her initiative to sacrifice her long brown shinny hairs for the one whom she loves.

b) What repairing work was carried out?

=Della tried to curl her chopped hairs to make it look pretty and attractive.

c) Why was the girl repairing the ravages?

=Della tried to fix her hair as she thought that Jim would be disappointed to see her chopped hairs.

2. A mathematician or a wit would give you the wrong answer.

a) What is the question alluded to here?

=The question alluded to here is ‘Eight dollars a week or million a year – what is the difference?’

b) What is the “right” answer?

=The money makes no sense in front of bond and love. The cost of the flat doesn’t matter in front of the bond which Della and Jim share.

c) What is the implied meaning of the statement?

= Despite having huge financial problems Della and Jim were rich enough for the bond they share. They were ready to sacrifice their most precious thing just to please each other and make each other happy.


Discuss in groups of four each the answers to the following questions. Individually, note down the important points for each question and then develop the points into one-paragraph answers.

1. Why are the gifts of Della and Jim compared to those of the Magi?

= The Magi were the wise

men who brought gifts to the newborn Jesus. According to the Bible, the Magi were three kings (Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar) who traveled to Bethlehem from somewhere in the East (probably Persia).

Likewise, Jim and Della are fit to be said a Magi as they both sacrifice their most precious thing for each other, to make them happy. The writer describes them as the wisest of all those who give and receive gifts as they gave up the only prized possessions they had.

2.Write on the appropriateness of the title.

=The title was quite apt.

Della and Jim were fit to be addressed as Magi. They both sacrificed their most precious thing to please each other, to collect money for the gifts For them the happiness of the loved ones mattered the most. Although in the end the gifts were turned out to be useless they possessed emotions and love.

3. Imagine that you are Della and write on the conflict you went through before you sacrificed your hair.

=I want to gift Jim something for this Christmas. I had very little money and so I tried hard to save but it was not enough to buy a platinum chain for his watch. I knew my hair would help me to get money. Although I knew that Jim would be shocked to see short hairs, I was in doubt, nervous still I decided to chop it. For me, Jim and his happiness matter more than hairs. The hairs would grow back again.


A. Fill in the blanks with the phrases given in the box below. (beggar description, at last, made for, turn inside out, on the sly, on account of, give way, look for, be on the lookout for, to attend to)

1.Della’s despair ____________ to ecstatic joy.

2. The take off was delayed ________ the bad weather.

3. We are ___________ new opportunities.

4. Her conduct is so strange that it ___________.

5. I have some urgent work ____________.

6. ____________ we reached home.

7. The burglar had _____ the house _____.

8. Della and Jim were ______ each other.

9. The two of them must have been meeting _______.

10. We _______ an improvement in our son’s performance this year.


1.gave way

2.on account of

3.on the lookout for

4.beggars description

5.to attend to

6.At last

7.turned, inside out

8.made for

9.on the sly

10.are looking for.

B. Fill in the blanks with the antonyms of the words underlined.

1. The iron rails ____ in summer and contract in winter.

2. Writing a novel is a laborious process; it is not _______.

3. We should remain calm in ____ as we do in times of prosperity.

4. He is very proud of his team’s achievements, but is very _____

about his glorious achievements.

5. The former option would be much more sensible than the _____


6. In Bengaluru, the value of properties has been appreciated, but the quality of life has ____.

7. Investing in shares requires prudence; investing all your money in shares is _____









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