Essay about The Dead By James Joyce

Essay about The Dead By James Joyce

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James Joyce, “The Dead” 1914 takes place during the feast of Epiphany on January 6. At the party Kate and Julia Morkan eagerly await Gabriel Conroy, their favorite nephew and his wife Gretta. Gabriel is a well educated man who is isolated throughout the party by the situations he encounters. Joyce uses situations and key points, for example, his education and encounters between characters to show how isolated he has and is becoming from the rest of society throughout the celebration. Although, Gabriel doesn 't realize his isolation between himself and the rest, it is clear to the reader that he is being alienated from society. Gabriel’s alienation is revealed and demonstrated throughout story by three main women characters. Overall, he is unable to build solid and stable relationships between these women because of his isolation. Gabriel’s characteristics like a higher education, his sometimes arrogant personality, and interactions between women all play a role in his isolation. It is those characteristics send him to his downfall at the end of the story.
At the beginning, Gabriel’s first approach between him and the housemaid Lily is seen as an awkward encounter. Gabriel tries to start a conversation by asking Lily a question, but she responds bitterly by telling him that, "the men that is now is only all palaver and what they can get out of you” (179). In other words, she docent trust men and sees them as false gentlemen. This makes Gabriel rethink his approach, which causes him to try to become mentally separated from Lilly. Additionally, this situation also embarrasses Gabriel to the point where he wants to pay Lily to make it less awkward. However, this doesn 't fully make the conversation less awkward, but rather strengthe...


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...he has joined the ranks of the contemporary walking dead” (Begnal). He realizes that Michael Furey is still “alive” in Gretta’s memory as he is. This realization suggests that Gabriel is on equal lengths between the dead and the living.
Overall, Joyce sets up situations between women and Gabriel characteristics that causes him to form a world where he is alienated from society. Consequently, Gabriel is isolated by one of his main characteristics which is his education. Both Lily and Miss Ivors say things which makes Gabriel feel anxious and uncomfortable. Moreover, he is unable to communicate effectively with any of the three women. Gabriel does not make an effort to overcome the situation, but rather tries to escape and isolate himself in a bad encounter. He yearns to go outside in the cold and walk beside the river instead of socializing with those who are inside.

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