Henry was born in Greensboro, North Carolina. His father, Algemon Sidney Porter, was a physician. When William was three, his mother died, and he was raised by his parental grandmother and paternal aunt. William was an avid reader, but at the age of fifteen he left school and then worked in a drug store and on a Texas ranch. He continued to Houston, where he had a number of jobs, including that of bank clerk. After moving in 1882 to Texas, he worked on a ranch in LaSalle County for two years. In 1887 he married Athol Estes Roach; they had one daughter and one son., he died in New York on June 5th 1910.
In this novel, there are many short ficition,every of them are worth reading,but The Gift of the Magi left me a deep impression is, I think this is a good article I have ever read, it is meaningful.
In this article, O.Henry used his style of writing narrated a winding and simple story with humorous and a light sad, in western literary area this theme of presenting the gift in the Christmas eve is so ordinary, some of them is wonderful, but I think The Gift of the Magi is the best one.
First, let’s looked from the content. the entire article took one pair of poorly love husbands and wives in American presenting the Christmas gift as a middle line, The family housewife in order to save each coin, she count each one. Even though, entire family only left one dollar and eighty-seven cents on Christmas Eve. The author did not describe much about the poor family, he used one dollar and eighty-seven cents to draw the whole novel, the housewife Della who loves her husband deeply count the money three times, she cried sadly for she could not buy her husband an satisfactory gift. O.Henry was good at using little words to make the sketch and build atmosphere, then the reader will lost in the article, tasting and pondering the character's destiny. The gloomy atmosphere which was built by one dollar and eighty-seven cents through the whole novel, even when the couples saw gifts, it still contained a little pain. The author had written a poor husband's and wife's pain, also enlightens for the people let them obtain beautiful influencing and lead the reader’s interest to a deep boundary when he was describe the character’s thought disposition and plot. This is the true value of The Gift of the Magi.
In order to give her husband an exquisite watch chain, Della sold her beautiful hair though his husband James loved it. James realized that Della had worshipped long for the set of combs, side and back, in Broadway window, he also sold his valuable watch which belonged his grandparents. Della’s hair and James’ gold watch is the most precious property which in this poor family. In order to expresses the deep sincere love to the spouse, all of them had lost these two at the Christmas eve. Happiness in a twinkling had paid the expensive price, but following is the deep pain. after consider the true life ,O Henry had screened the main plot carefully, made this ordinary theme bright again, gold watch and beautiful hair are the great wealth for the poor family which gain 20 dollar per week, This regret brought astringent feeling, caused each reader’s heart to tremble. This is condensing the real contradiction which the social real life is unable to solve multiplies really because of the writer deep style of writing, cause reader's pitying with the sympathy, and lead them to a more profound ponder. For a while sentimental impulse Della and James had extremely sacrificed most precious thing for each other. In those only money all-powerful societies, their gift can not regard as wisdom, they lost wealth, but they deepened the precious sincere love. In love and in wealth contradiction they have sacrificed the latter.
The novel revelation society reality does not depend on preaching, but depend on the development of character’s emotion. Inspires the reader to touch, feels the character who have the tragedy color. In this society which money can buy love, psychology and sentiment appear the distortion, the sincere deep love between James and Della has filled with writer’s idealism. O.Hery oes not write the money to ruin love in this society, but wrote the artistic flavor in this gloomy lens, admired the intelligence of James and Della, This is certainly unusual manpower pen, Therefore, the work gives us is not depression and gloomy, But is the beautiful pursue and the attachment, Thus lead the reader to the noble boundary.
Processing novel ending, Is O Henry’s most creative contribution, also causes him enjoys the great reputation in American and in the world history of literature. He is good at designing plot theatrically, lays down the foreshadowing, finally appears a beyond expectation result in the ending which makes the reader to feel suddenly sees the light, joy after sorrow, also beside anticipation and in reason, strike the table and shout bravo.
Henry is worth the world famous novelist, his excellent writing technique enabled his novel to have the title of O.Henry.
I have read many kinds of article, before reading O.Henry’s article, I liked detective book, but after reading this book, I knew short fiction is better, Henry’s humors gave me a deep impression, it will never feel boring no matter how many times you have read.