James Joyce's "The Dead" Analytical Essay by JPWrite

James Joyce's "The Dead"
A review of James Joyce's "The Dead", about the effect of women on the protagonist Gabriel.
# 64025 | 1,645 words | 0 sources | 2005 | US
Published on Feb 22, 2006 in Literature (English) , English (Analysis)

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This paper examines how, in James Joyce's short masterpiece "The Dead", many small incidents at the party on Usher's Island produce a build-up of insecurity in Gabriel, which later manifests itself as an amorous passion for his wife, Gretta. The author points out that, ultimately the women at the party are oblivious to his rising and falling emotions, and his wife's self-centered mourning of a lost lover from many years before sends Gabriel into an irreconcilable funk, which weighs upon him like the grimness of death. The paper concludes that the story ends when Gabriel's soul "swoons", giving up its hope of self-importance and self-respect, and surrendering to gravity like the snow, "falling...upon all the living and the dead."

From the Paper:

"What Gabriel interprets as Miss Ivors' "heckling him and staring at him with her rabbit eyes" serves to counterpoint his later feelings for his wife, Gretta, who had "color on her cheeks" and whose "eyes were shining." Yet even Gretta makes him uncomfortable in front of his aunts when she calls him "an awful bother" because he makes her wear galoshes. The aunts laugh "heartily...for Gabriel's solicitude was a standing joke with them." Embarrassed, he laughs nervously, then pats his tie "reassuringly," then wrinkles his brow and snaps back at Gretta with a tone "slightly angered." Later, after learning of the possibility for a summer vacation in Galway with Miss Ivors, Gretta jumps excitedly and begs Gabriel to take the offer."

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James Joyce's "The Dead" (2006, February 22) Retrieved August 15, 2022, from https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/james-joyce-the-dead-64025/

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