The action in “The Gift of the Mgi” takes place in New York City in a
very modest apartment and in a hair shop down the street from the apartment. O.
Henry sketches the flat with just enought detail to convey it’s image: cheap,
sparsely furnished, broken mailbox and doorbell. Everything was grey: Della
“looked out dully at a grey cat walking a grey fence in a grey backyard”. From
the “gas” which Della lights and gadgets she has: a stove and curling irons, it
can be said that the story is set about the time O. Henry wrote it – the first
decade of the 20th century). The setting is described in details and
it contributes to the vision of poverty and hard life of the young family.
Porter does not mention New York by
name, but he refers to Coney Island, the city's most famous amusement park,
located in the borough of Brooklyn.This is Coney island:
Isn't it marvellous?
Porter lived in New York when he
wrote and published the "The Gift of the Magi", so it he found it
necessary to describe the setting around him. The action takes place on a Christmas Eve. The
drabness of the setting in which Jim and Della live create a contrast with the
atmosphere of Christmas and the warmth and richness of their love for each