The Themes Of Alienation In James Joyce's The Dead

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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…show more content…
Loomis, “The toast, hypocritical and condescending, makes us further aware of Gabriel 's isolation from those around him.” As soon as he concludes his speech everyone applauds him including his aunts. However, Gabriel realizes that his “Aunt Julia did not understand but she looked up, smiling, at Gabriel” (Joyce 196). This situation makes Gabriel distanced from his Aunts. Interestedly enough, Gabriel never decides to get rid of the quote completely from his speech even though he knows that no one would understand him. According to John Feeley, “a close look at the development of Gabriel’s speech from the original headings indicates that despite the putative limitations of his audience, he does not intend to abandon the Browning quotation totally and that his considerable verbal skills render it unnecessary that he do so.” Moreover, this shows how isolated Gabriel has become from his family because of his education. Additionally, this makes Gabriel come off as alienated, especially when he is serves the food, he states, “Now, if anyone wants a little more of what vulgar people call stuffing let him or her speak” (Joyce 192). He intentionally isolates himself from the low class educated people by calling them “vulgar”. In a way he is equally at fault for his own isolation. Moreover, Rapp states that “Gabriel seems like a man who feels awkward because he is out of his element of university professors and is instead among a bunch of what he would probably call working-class brutes”
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