James Joyce's story "The Dead" has a tremendous impact on the
readers, especially those who are familiar with the political situation in
Ireland at the time about which the Joyce wrote the final story in
Dubliners. In exploring the meaning of James Joyce's long short-story,
"The Dead", there are many critical approaches to take. Each approach
gives readers a lens, a set of guidelines through which to examine and
express ideas of the meaning of "The Dead." Joyce himself said that the
idea of paralysis was the intended theme of all the stories in The Dubliners
of which "The Dead" is the final story.
Of all critical approaches, reader
response works best for me. This approach examines the images, symbols,
point-of-view, characterization and setting of "The Dead" in such a way as
to reveal the theme of paralysis that Joyce intended. The two characters
that appeal to me are, Gabriel and his wife Gretta who are invited every
year to a family gathering by Gabriels two aunts on New Years eve. Gabriel,
who is a university professor, does not want to be identified with Ireland.
He wants to be identifies as a citizen of the world. His arrogance is
revealed in his interaction with others. A
primary example would be the way he treats his wife Gretta as an object.
As Peter J. Rabinowitz informs one that in reader response
criticism the "...activity of reading always alters the text at hand. Unless
we are limiting ourselves to reading in the sense of uninflected recitation,
reading is never a passive activity to which the reader contributes nothing.
In the reader res...
... middle of paper ...
... Gabriel is
paralyzed emotionally, as he does not know what is going to happen next.
In conclusion the narrators attitude towards the events is perhaps
how he wants the reader to interpret the events. The narrator perhaps
wants to tell the reader despite all the tension at that time, the people
in Dublin still want to forget the problem and enjoy at least on New Years
Day where it can be with their loved ones to relax.
The Dead. Dir. John Houston. Perf. Anjelica Houston, Donal McCann.
Bestron Pictures, 1987
Joyce, James. The Dead. Ed. Daniel R. Scwarz. Cornell University, 1994
Rabinowitz, Peter J. "A Symbol of Something": Interpretive Vertigo in "The
Dead." Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1987
Scwarz, Daniel R., ed. The Dead. Cornell University, 1994
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- There are multiple ways an individual can create their own identity. Society can judge a person merely based upon their morals, character, or appearance. When crafting an identity, one of the most important aspects of someone’s personality is their interactions with others. In the short story, The Dead, James Joyce is able to portray the contrast of social interaction between spouses. While the majority of the time Gabriel’s and Gretta’s thoughts are shown through dialogue, their private thoughts show more than what is actually said.... [tags: Love, Short story, James Joyce, The Dead]
1183 words (3.4 pages)
- A Subjective Reader-Response Criticism of James Joyce’s Eveline The subjectivity evident in literary interpretation is hard to deny. Though one person may feel that James Joyce’s writing proves Joyce’s support of the feminist movement, another may believe that Joyce views women as inferior. What could account for such a difference in opinions. Schwarz explains that subjective reader-response critics would respond to a question such as this by answering that each reader uses the literary work to symbolize his or her own life and, therefore, each response is unique to the individual reader.... [tags: Dubliners Essays]
2400 words (6.9 pages)
- The Impression of Gabriel in The Dead If there has ever been an author in history that can get away with writing about bodily functions and sexual desires, it is Mr. James Joyce. His works have not only seen the ugly side of criticism but have even been placed under trial. His novella “Dubliners” was banned due to accusations of obscenities and blasphemy. Yet, many critics and writers, including Ezra Pound, saw Joyce’s work as avant-garde and evolutionary. Despite the many obstacles Joyce endured, his works were published and proposed a different design to literary art.... [tags: impressionism, sexual desires, criticism]
1350 words (3.9 pages)
- Foreshadowing and Flashback in “The Scarlet Ibis” Regrets are one of the few factors that all people have in common. A study was taken asking hundreds of American citizens if they regretted something from their past. Although the majority decided upon failed romantic relationships as their most prominent regret, about sixteen percent stated his or her biggest regrets lied within family matters (Johnson). In James Hurst's short story, “The Scarlet Ibis,” Hurst uses foreshadowing and flashback to establish a reminiscent tone.... [tags: doodle, abandonment, death]
1024 words (2.9 pages)
- 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.... [tags: Dubliners, James Joyce, The Dead]
1671 words (4.8 pages)
- An Analysis James Joyce’s “The Dead” There have been many prominent authors in the past years. These authors shaped the style of writing one knows today. James Joyce is known as one of these prominent authors. In fact, Janet Witalec the editor of Short Story Criticism points out that “Joyce is considered one of the most influential literary figures of the first half of the twentieth century” (194). This quality is due to works such as “The Dead.” “The Dead” is similar to many of his works. James Joyce’s “The Dead” is a typical work in setting, modernist form, epiphanic form, and a departure in tone.... [tags: Dubliners, James Joyce, The Dead, Ulysses]
1133 words (3.2 pages)
- The novel “Dead simple” by Peter James is a gripping novel which keeps the reader on the edge of his seat throughout. The story is about a young man named Michael who is on his stag due with his friends and when they play a harmless prank on him (burning him in a coffin.) It goes seriously wrong when they are killed in a car accident and the question remains, where is Michael Harrison. This essay will examine how Peter James creates suspense throughout the novel using various literary techniques.... [tags: Dead simple, Peter James, ]
711 words (2 pages)
- James Joyce's The Dead In The Dead, James Joyce lets symbolism flow freely throughout his short story. James Joyce utilizes his main characters and objects in The Dead to impress upon his readers his view of Dublin’s crippled condition. Not only does this apply to just The Dead, Joyce’s symbolic themes also exude from his fourteen other short stories that make up the rest of Joyce’s book, Dubliners, to describe his hometown’s other issues of corruption and death that fuel Dublin’s paralysis. After painting this grim picture of Dublin, James Joyce uses it to express his frustration and to explain his realistic view that the only solution to the issues with Dublin depends on a move to the W... [tags: James Joyce Dead Essays]
3151 words (9 pages)
- Reader Response Essay - On The Strong Breed Reading Wole Soyinka’s Strong Breed, I get to wondering about disclosure and ritual, disclosure between characters and to audiences, rituals of drama and religion. As I read the play, I see ample signs that both Sunma and Eman know about the curse-binding ritual that is to take place before midnight. I see signs of Sunma’s more specific knowledge in her shunning of Ifada from the start of the play. She declares, “Get away, idiot” (853). From the start Sunma is agitated and hopes that she and Eman might get away for “only two days” (857), as long as the two of them might “watch the new year together--in some other place” (856).... [tags: Reader Response Essays]
703 words (2 pages)
- Reader Response to Sydney's Sonnets, Astrophil and Stella As we discussed Astrophil and Stella in class, I felt a familiar knot in my stomach. At first I could not pin-point the reasons for my aversion to these sonnets. However, as we discussed it in class, it became clear to me. I could identify with Penelope Devereux Rich. Although Astrophil and Stella could be interpreted as an innocent set of love sonnets to an ideal woman and not a particular woman, they reminded me of the letters I received last year from a guy, Lee Burt, I had not seen in seven years.... [tags: Reader Response Essays]
1419 words (4.1 pages)