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James Joyces The Dead

White“The Dead” EssaySeptember 25, 2000James Joyce's significantly titled story “The Dead” is about a dead generation and society of people. Joyce’s decision to add Gretta’s reminiscing with the dead Michael Furey in “The Dead” is extremely important. Perhaps if Joyce decided to end the story after Gabriel’s speech or the setting up of the dinner party, we would still be left with a very pleasant short story. However, Joyce continues on with a significant encounter of the dead Michael Furey that uncovers a side Gabriel has never recognized of himself. The dead in “The Dead” bring out new realizations of Gabriel’s life and interfere with the way he is living it.Michael Furey is the final eruption of the past in “The Dead”. It causes Gabriel to feel his animalistic nature, a "dull anger" and "the dull fires of his lust" ( ), which is then replaced by shame. On the trip home, while he had been full of memories of their shared past, "she had been comparing him in her mind with another." ( ) His rage gives way to shame and self-degradation: he Maraguglio 2sees himself as "a ludicrous figure, acting as a penny boy for his aunts, a nervous well-meaning sentimentalist orating to vulgarians and idealising his own clownish lusts." ( )He overcomes his own shame and rage to draw the rest of the story out of his wife, Gretta: She was in love with Michael Furey, or as she says, "great with him at the time." It is a wonderful phrase; she seems as if she is still "great with" Michael Furey and there is no room for Gabriel, her husband of so many years. Gabriel feels the hand of the past reaching forward to destroy the present, "some impalpable and vindictive being was coming against him, gathering forces against him in its vague world." ( )Gretta cries herself to sleep and Gabriel passes into one final mood, of acceptance. He now looks at G...

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