# Quiz RL.4: The Gift of the Magi

Name:______________________________________________ Date:_______________

# The Gift of the Magi Extract

Read these first few paragraphs from O. Henry's short story, “The Gift of the Magi”, then answer the questions which follow.

StandardCCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone (e.g., how the language evokes a sense of time and place; how it sets a formal or informal tone).

### The Gift of the Magi

One dollar and eighty-seven cents. That was all. And sixty cents of it was in pennies. Pennies saved one and two at a time 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. Three times Della counted it. One dollar and eighty-seven cents. And the next day would be Christmas.

There was clearly nothing to do but flop down on the shabby little couch and howl. So Della did it. Which instigates the moral reflection that life is made up of sobs, sniffles, and smiles, with sniffles predominating.

While the mistress of the home is gradually subsiding from the first stage to the second, take a look at the home. A furnished flat at \$8 per week. It did not exactly beggar description, but it certainly had that word on the lookout for the mendicancy squad.

- O. Henry

1. “bulldozing”

Clues:__________________________________________________________________

Meaning: _______________________________________________________________

2. “parsimony” (hint: “imputation” means, “accusation” or “ascribing”)

Clues:__________________________________________________________________

Meaning: _______________________________________________________________

3. “mendicancy”

Clues:__________________________________________________________________

Meaning: _______________________________________________________________

4. What sort of tone does this introduction have?

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5. Which words contribute towards that tone?

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