Epiphany In The Story Of Gabriel Conroy By James Joyce

1005 Words5 Pages
While reading James Joyce’s works can prove to be challenging, his writing is filled with much meaning and worth. In the case of Gabriel Conroy, his self realization that ends the Dubliner series is filled with Joyce’s important ideas. Although this moment is the primary focus of the collection, it is the build up of many smaller scenes in Joyce’s other short stories that lead to this final moment of epiphany. Epiphanies play a key role throughout Dubliner’s, therefore making the ideas behind each of them essential to understanding trending characteristics seen in Dubliner’s. This understanding then allows for the reader to arrive at their own epiphany, while at the same time taking into account the epiphany of the character and the flaws it…show more content…
However, in The Dead Gabriel himself experiences the story’s revelation. His epiphany is realizing there is a lack of true life within himself, and understanding what this means for his own life. Though Gabriel’s epiphany only takes a minute, smaller instances throughout the story attribute to that single moment. Joyce begins the story at a party in which Gabriel and his wife have attended. Throughout the party, Gabriel 's interaction with other guests builds. Each encounter appearing to undermine his sense of self worth. It is at this party where Joyce starts to develop Gabriel as a character, showing more private thoughts and emotions. Such as his sense of inadequacy and fear of his own small pretensions. As the party continues Lily becomes irate when Gabriel makes a comment about marriage to her saying, “The men that is now is only all palaver and what they can get out of you" (Joyce 183). Although at first this does not seem to…show more content…
The emotion within him becomes so strong that he believe she must be feeling it too. Unfortunately after asking her what she is thinking he receives an unexpected answer, one that makes obvious that she does not feel the same. Gabriel then learns of her old lover whose love for her went beyond lust, he was willing to die for her. Gabriel realizes while he had been full of memories of their secret life together, full of joy and desire, she had been comparing him in her mind with someone else. It is at this moment he has his epiphany; He realizes he is living without life. He is a body with no feeling or love; he is the living dead. Later, when she is asleep, Gabriel ponders what he has finally understood. His wife had a moment of passion, but it now pains him to think how insignificant he, her husband, had been in her life. Now he realizes he has never truly loved a woman the way Gretta had been loved. The last we see of Gabriel is as he sits and watches the snow fall across the land, all of Ireland covered in it. He has become aware of his deadness, like all the others around him. Realizing that those who are dead within themselves are the same as those in the cemetery, and the snow falls on all

More about Epiphany In The Story Of Gabriel Conroy By James Joyce

Open Document