The Death by James Joyce

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James Joyce’s “the Dead” In James Joyce’s “The Dead” Joyce uses a winter setting to create his scene. Many writers use nature to show human nature and the human condition. Joyce’s use of snow to cast light on characters and convey the meaning for events provide an analysis of the themes throughout “The Dead.” Snow has many interpretations. It can be beauty, as it outlines vegetation and adds definition to their shapes. It can be seen as a symbolism of innocence and new beginnings. Snow can be seen as the beginning or the end of life as it usually means the end of one life as plants that it falls on die. It also means new life as it melts it brings to light new life. Gabriel the main character of “The Dead” mimics the snow in much this way. Gabriel is a man who really doesn’t know where he belongs and doesn’t know who he should be. He represents a world covered in snow, a blank slate. When he arrives to the party it begins to snow covering his clothes in an oppressive manner. This is similar to his role as an Irish man. Which is a restrictive, cold and oppressing routine to him. He even is trapped by his cautious and inhibited personality. His wife however is the opposite. She is a free spirit, who loves adventure and wants more from life. This creates conflict for him as he has difficulty talking to women. They talk about Michael her love from when she was young, and how even though he was sick he traveled to see her off on her trip through the snow and cold. Gabriel for the first time displays true emotions as she sleeps by letting tears roll down his face and he stares into the whiteness of the snow. This shows the beginning of him being a new man. Snow at the beginning of the story is seen as oppressive diminishing life as if... ... middle of paper ... today, but Kipling seemed to marvel at the very thought that these people would not jump up in thanks to their "civilizing" conquerors. Rather than bring together to different people this work just created a larger divide between the two. It doesn’t seem though that Kipling intended the poem to be viewed as support of the imperialist endeavor; in fact, reading carefully the way he phrases the lines would reveal that Kipling was offering warnings to anyone who decided that such ideas needed to be carried out. He warns against laziness and debauched behavior as it can quickly derail noble goals and intentions. He also cautions the need of patience, and tries to make it clear that this kind of work (raising a people to a more civil culture) is difficult and can be quite burdensome – as he writes it is the “toil of serf and sweeper,” not the “tawdry rule of kings.”

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how joyce's use of snow to cast light on characters and convey the meaning for events provides an analysis of the themes throughout "the dead."
  • Analyzes how the albatross and the mariner are the key characters in the "rime of the ancient mariner."
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