James Joyce’s The Dead Ariel Maraguglio Mr. White “The Dead” Essay September 25, 2000 James 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 2 sees 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 Gretta unresentfully( ), and with a strange friendly pity ( ), even as he realizes how poor a part he has played in his wife’s life. He recognizes that his love is not on the same plane as Michael Furey’s because no one, not Gretta or another, has ever made Gabriel wish to die (the way Michael did for Gretta).Then Gabriel and his world Maraguglio 3 dissolve. Most likely he is falling asleep; but Joyce says that his soul had approached that region where dwell the vast hosts of the dead.
“( ) The dead, Michael Furey, is overcoming him. Gabriel, by his ideas, tastes, and sensitivities has been isolated from others, but always found support in his self-esteem. Michael Furey has destroyed this. Michael was first in Gretta’s love and Gretta is incapable of perceiving the importance that this has for Gabriel. By introducing Michael Furey, Joyce provides an explanation to Gabriel’s statement in his speech: How “living affections” claim “our strenuous endeavors.” ( ) English Essays.