The Gift of the Magi Comprehension Questions

  1. English
  2. 7 Grade
  3. Jonathan Kirk
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Name: ______________________________ Date: ______________________ Period: _______ The Gift of the Magi 1. Why is Della saving money? What is the money for? 2. What day of the year is it and how does this impact the events of the story? 3. How much money does Della have saved up? What does this amount reveal about the time period of the story? 4. What are Jim and Della’s most prized possessions? 5. What does Della do to earn more money? How much does she receive? 6. What present does Della buy for Jim? How much did it cost? 7. How does Jim react when he sees that Della has cut her hair? 8. Why is Jim surprised when he sees Della? What present did he buy her? 9. What is ironic about the gifts Jim and Della purchase for one another? What type of irony is this?

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10. What did Jim sell to purchase the combs? 11. Which three phrases best summarize “The Gift of the Magi”? a. extremely poor; perfect gift; combs and watch chain b. sells hair for chain; sells watch for combs; sacrifice makes gifts seem useless c. wise gifts; surprise; irony d. Della’s combs; Jim’s watch chain; selfless giving 12. “The Gift of the Magi” best fits into which of the following genres? Check one from each row. _______ Fantasy _______ Realistic Fiction _______ Fiction _______ Nonfiction _______ Drama _______ Literature _______ Parable _______ Fairy Tale _______ Classic _______ Modern Story 13. “The Gift of the Magi” is told from which point of view? a. 1st person b. 3rd Person Omniscient c. 3rd person Limited (Della’s perspective) d. 3rd Person Limited (Jim’s Perspective) 14. Which literary technique does O. Henry use in “The Gift of the Magi”? a. cliff hanger b. ironic ending c. flashback d. foreshadowing 15. Which two choices BEST reflect the main conflicts in the story? a. Jim and Della’s poverty b. Jim and Della’s lack of love c. Jim and Della’s gift giving situation d. Jim and Della’s living situation 16. The tone of the story can best be described as…

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a. A well-meaning narrator who conveys a lesson b. A neutral observer relaying the facts c. A dear friend gossiping about Della and Jim d. A preachy sermon about love and sacrifice 17. Read this passage from the story. “Which instigates the moral reflection that life is made up of sobs, sniffles, and smiles, with sniffles predominating. The author uses alliteration to… a. give the story a poetic feeling b. emphasize the emotions felt by Della c. show the wisdom of the characters d. to stray from the style and form 18. What mood is conveyed through the first two paragraphs of the story? a. cheerful b. tense c. defeated d. ominous 19. The setting is important to the story because… a. the reader knows that the story takes place during the early 20th century. b. the story takes place in a city where you often see fancy, elaborate apartments c. the story takes place on Christmas Eve in a humble small apartment d. Everything is gray in color, so the city is depicted as very dull and boring 20. What was the main purpose for writing this story? a. to entertain readers by telling them a humble story with a moral b. to describe how giving gifts can cause problems and be stressful c. to inform readers that giving tangible gifts is a waste of finances d. to persuade readers to save up money and purchase gifts early on TEXT DEPENDENT ANALYSIS PROMPT: How does situational irony play a key role in O. Henry's "The Gift of the Magi"? What effect does this type of