Истинные и ложные ценности в рассказе О. Генри «Дары волхвов»

Конспект урока

Педагогика и дидактика

The topic of our lesson is next: “True and false values in the O. Henry novel “The Gift of the Magi”. In the end of the lesson we have to answer the main question: what values are true and false, and who is really happy and wise to the writer’s opinion.



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Каменщик Александра, 55 а



ТЕМА: «Истинные и ложные ценности в рассказе О. Генри «Дары волхвов»

Тип урока: комбинированный.

Цели: образовательные:

определить истинные и ложные ценности в жизни человека;

объяснить смысл названия рассказа;

охарактеризовать авторское понимание мудрости и счастья;

психического развития:

развивать внимание учащихся;

формировать логическое мышление в ходе анализа текста;


формировать чувство уважения и собственного достоинства;

определить истинные ценности как духовные;

креативные: предоставить возможность проявить творческие способности.


метод творческого чтения

чтение по ролям

чтение от первого лица



ТСО: изображение памятника книге О. Генри ,портрет писателя , текст произведения в оригинале, доска.

Эпиграф к уроку:

Ход урока

  1.  Организация класса
  2.  Актуализация опорных знаний учеников.

      1)Установка на восприятие.

I would like to begin our conversation with several unusual questions:

  1.  How do you think, to whom people create monuments?
  2.  What for people get such a big honour?
  3.  How do you think, what for a monument for a book could be created?

O. Henry’s creative works were favoured with this honour. There is his stone book 2 metres high in Grinsboro, the USA. It’s opened and it’s not difficult to guess on what place it’s opened. And today we have an excellent opportunity to continue an acquaintance with writer’s personality and try to understand  what unusual things contains “The Gift of the Magi”.

The topic of our lesson is next: “True and false values in the O. Henry novel “The Gift of the Magi”. In the end of the lesson we have to answer the main question: what values are true and false, and who is really happy and wise to the writer’s opinion.

          2) Работа с ассоциациями. Сообщения учащихся.

Let’s address to the title oft he novel.

  1.  What assosiations the word „“ the gift“ calls?

The pupils answer. We’ll read the dictionary definition. The gift is

  There are a lot of definitions oft he word „gift“, however the author had his own understanding of it. And we have to acquaint with author’s personality to understand it.

 Now let’s remember the main moments in O.Henry’s biography.

William Sydney Porter, writing as O. Henry, wrote in a dry, humorous style and, as in "The Gift of the Magi," often ironically used coincidences and surprise endings. Released from prison in 1902, Porter went to New York, his home and the setting of most of his fiction for the remainder of his life. Writing prodigiously, he Contents

Writer. Born William Sydney Porter, on September 11, 1862, in Greensboro, North Carolina. The American short-story writer, who wrote under the pseudonym O. Henry, pioneered in picturing the lives of lower-class and middle-class New Yorkers.

Porter attended school for a short time, then clerked in an uncle's drugstore. At the age of 20 William Sydney Porter went to Texas, working first on a ranch and later as a bank teller. In 1887 he married and began to write freelance sketches. A few years later he founded a humorous weekly, the Rolling Stone. When this failed, he became a reporter and columnist on the Houston Post.

Indicted in 1896 for embezzling bank funds (actually a result of technical mismanagement), Porter fled to a reporting job in New Orleans, then to Honduras. When news of his wife's serious illness reached him, he returned to Texas. After her death William Sydney Porter was imprisoned in Columbus, Ohio. During his three-year incarceration, he wrote adventure stories set in Texas and Central America that quickly became popular and were collected in Cabbages and Kings (1904).

Released from prison in 1902, Porter went to New York City, his home and the setting of most of his fiction for the remainder of his life. Writing prodigiously under the pen name O. Henry, he completed one story a week for a newspaper, in addition to other stories for magazines. Popular collections of his stories included The Four Million (1906); Heart of the West and The Trimmed Lamp (both 1907); The Gentle Grafter and The Voice of the City (both 1908); Options (1909); and Whirligigs and Strictly Business (both 1910).

O. Henry's most representative collection was probably The Four Million. The title and the stories answered the snobbish claim of socialite Ward McAllister that only 400 people in New York "were really worth noticing" by detailing events in the lives of everyday Manhattanites. In his most famous story, "The Gift of the Magi," a poverty-stricken New York couple secretly sell valued possessions to buy one another Christmas gifts. Ironically, the wife sells her hair so that she can buy her husband a watch chain, while he sells his watch so that he can buy her a pair of combs.

Incapable of integrating a book-length narrative, O. Henry was skilled in plotting short ones. He wrote in a dry, humorous style and, as in "The Gift of the Magi," frequently used coincidences and surprise endings to underline ironies. Even after O. Henry's death on June 5, 1910, stories continued to be collected: Sixes and Sevens (1911); Rolling Stones (1912); Waifs and Strays (1917); O. Henryana (1920); Lettersto Lithopolis (1922); Postscripts (1923); and O. Henry Encore (1939).

One more question for you. Who were the Magi?

  1.  Сообщение и усвоение новых знаний.

So, The Gift of the Magi one of the best-known American short stories, by celebrated American short-story writer William Sydney Porter, who wrote it under the pseudonym O. Henry and was published in 1906 in a collection of his short stories, The Four Million. The story contains many of the elements for which O. Henry is widely known, including poor, working-class characters, a humorous tone, realistic detail, and a surprise ending. A major reason given for its enduring appeal is its affirmation of unselfish love. Such love, the story and its title suggest, is like the gifts given by the wise men, called magi, who brought gold, frankincense, and myrrh to the newborn Jesus.

- Who are the main characters oft he novel? ( Delia and Jim)

- How is Delia and Jim’s flat described? Find the details in text, which are used by O.Henry.

Let’s visit a cheap New York flat and watch the heroes together .

1)Инсценировка эпизода (два участника: Делла и автор за кадром).


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 I 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 Delia 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 look-out for the mendicancy squad. 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. Also appertaining thereunto was a card bearing the name "Mr. James Dillingham Young." The "Dillingham" had been flung to the breeze during a former period of prosperity when its possessor was being paid $30 per week. Now, when the income was shrunk to $20 the letters of "Dillingham" looked blurred, as though they were thinking seriously of contracting to a modest and unassuming D. But whenever Mr. James Dillingham Young came home and reached his flat above he was called "Jim" and greatly hugged by Mrs. James Dillingham Young, already introduced to you as Delia. Which is all very good. Delia finished her cry and attended to her cheeks with the powder rag. She stood by the window and looked out dully at a gray cat walking a gray fence in a gray backyard.


Tomorrow would be Christmas Day, and she had only $1.87 with which to buy Jim a present.She had been saving every penny she could for months, with this result. Twenty dollars a week doesn't go far. Expenses had been greater than she had calculated. They always are. Only $ 1.87 to buy a present for Jim. Her Jim. Many a happy hour she had spent planning for something nice for him. Something fine and rare and sterling — something just a little bit near to being worthy of the honor of being owned by Jim.


Suddenly she whirled from the window and stood before the glass. Her eyes were shining brilliantly, but her face had lost its color within twenty seconds. Rapidly she pulled down her hair and let it fall to its full length.

  1.  What Delia’s qualities are opened for us?
  2.  What treasures do the characters own? Find their descriptions.
  3.  How their beauty is emphasized?
  4.  Why are they better than treasures of Queen of Sheba and King Solomon?
  5.  How does Delia choose the present? Find the descriptions in text.
  6.  Whit what does Delia sacrifice for Jim?

2) Чтение по ролям. Эпизод встречи героев


Jim stopped inside the door, as immovable as a setter at the scent of quail. His eyes were fixed upon Delia, 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. Delia wriggled off the table and went for him.

"Jim, darling," she cried, "don't look at me that way. I had my haircut off and sold it because I couldn't have lived through Christmas without giving you a present. It' 11 grow out again—you won't mind, will you? I just had to do it. My hair grows awfully fast. Say "Merry Christmas!" Jim, and let's be happy. You don't know what 30 a nice — what a beautiful, nice gift I've got for you." "You've cut off your hair?" asked Jim, laboriously, as if he had not arrived at that patent fact yet even after the hardest mental labor. "Cut it off and sold it," said Delia. "Don't you like me just as well, anyhow? I'm me without my hair, ain't I?" Jim looked about the room curiously."You say your hair is gone?" he said, with an air almost of idiocy. "You needn't look for it," said Delia. "It's sold, I tell you — sold and gone, too. It's Christmas Eve, boy. Be good to me, for it went for you. Maybe the hairs of my head were numbered," she went on with a sudden serious sweetness, "but nobody could ever count my love for you. Shall I put the chops on, Jim?" Out of his trance Jim seemed quickly to wake. He enfolded his Delia. For ten seconds let us regard with discreet scrutiny some inconsequential object in the other direction. Eight dollars a week or a million a year — what is the difference? A mathematician or a wit would give you the wrong answer. The magi brought valuable gifts, but that was not among them. This dark assertion will be illuminated later on. Jim drew-a package from his overcoat pocket and threw it upon the table. "Don't make any mistake, Dell," he said, "about me. I don't think there's anything in the way of a haircut or a shave or a shampoo that could make me like my girl any less. But if you'll unwrap that package you may see why you had me going a while at first." White fingers and nimble tore at the string and paper. And then an ecstatic scream of joy; and then, alas! a quick feminine change to hysterical tears and wails, necessitating the immediate employment of all the comforting powers of the lord of the flat. For there lay The Combs — the set of combs, side and back, that Delia had worshipped for long in a Broadway window. Beautiful combs, pure tortoise shell, with jewelled rims — just the shade to wear in the beautiful vanished hair. They were expensive combs, she knew, and her heart had simply craved and yearned over them without the least hope of possession. And now, they were hers, but the tresses that should have adorned the coveted adornments were gone. But she hugged them to her bosom, and at length she was able to look up with dim eyes and a smile and say: ."My hair grows so fast, Jim!" And then Delia leaped up like a little singed cat and cried, "Oh, oh!" Jim had not yet seen his beautiful present. She held it out to him eagerly upon her open palm. The dull precious metal seemed to flash with a reflection of her bright and ardent spirit. "Isn't it a dandy, Jim? I hunted all over town to find it. You'll have to look at the time a hundred times a day now. Give me your watch. I want to see how it looks on it." Instead of obeying, Jim tumbled down on the couch and put his hands under the back of his head and smiled. "Dell," said he, "let's put our Christmas presents away and keep 'em a while. They're too nice to use just at present. I sold the watch to get the money to buy your combs. And now suppose you put the chops on." .

  1.  How does Jim’s reaction change when he enters the room? 
  2. Why does he respond like that?
  3. What changes in Jim’s behaviour can we watch?
  4. How does Delia’s reaction change when she sees the combs?
  5. Do we see the happy ending?
  6. What do Jim and Delia presented to each other indeed?

  1.  Подведение итогов урока.

So why the title of the novel is “The Gift of the Magi”?

  1.  Домашнее задание. Оценивание.

To the next lesson I ask you to write a composition. The topic is “My impressions from O.Henry’s novel “The Gift of the Magi”


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