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James Joyce, The Dead-Stream of conscious writingWhat is this story about:-Stream of consciousness-Memory-Symbolism: snowGabriel Conroy- The protagonist from “The Dead.” A university-educated teacher and writer, Gabriel struggles with simple social situations and conversations, and straightforward questions catch him off guard. He feels out of place due to his highbrow literary endeavors. His aunts, Julia and Kate Morkan, turn to him to perform the traditionally male activities of carving the goose and delivering a speech at their annual celebration. Gabriel represents a force of control in the story, but his wife Gretta’s fond and sad recollections of a former devoted lover make him realize he has little grasp on his life and that his marriage lacks true love.Gretta Conroy- Gabriel’s wife in “The Dead.” Gretta plays a relatively minor role for most of the story, until the conclusion where she is the focus of Gabriel’s thoughts and actions. She appears mournful and distant when a special song is sung at the party, and she later plunges into despair when she tells Gabriel the story of her childhood love, Michael Furey. Her pure intentions and loyalty to this boy unnerve Gabriel and generate his despairing thoughts about life and death.Lily- The housemaid to the Morkan sisters who rebukes Gabriel in “The Dead.”Molly Ivors- The nationalist woman who teases Gabriel during a dance in “The Dead.”Julia Morkan- One of the aging sisters who throw an annual dance party in “The Dead.” Julia has a grey and sullen appearance that combines with her remote, wandering behavior to make her a figure sapped of life.Kate Morkan- One of the aging sisters who throw an annual dance party in “The Dead.” Kate is vivacious but constantly worries about her sister, Julia, and the happiness of the guests.Michael Furey- Gretta Conroy’s childhood love in “The Dead” who died for her long ago.
At the annual dance and dinner party held by Kate and Julia Morkan and their young niece, Mary Jane Morkan, the housemaid Lily frantically greets guests. Set at or just before the feast of the Epiphany on January 6, which celebrates the manifestation of Christ’s divinity to the Magi, the party draws together a variety of relatives and friends. Kate and Julia particularly await the arrival of their favorite nephew, Gabriel Conroy, and his wife, Gretta. When they arrive, Gabriel attempts to chat with Lily as she takes his coat, but she snaps in reply to his question about her love life. Gabriel ends the uncomfortable exchange by giving Lily a generous tip, but the experience makes him anxious. He relaxes when he joins his aunts and Gretta, though Gretta’s good-natured teasing abouthis dedication to galoshes irritates him. They discuss their decision to stay at a hotel that evening rather than make the long trip home. The arrival of another guest, the always-drunk Freddy Malins, disrupts the conversation. Gabriel makes sure that Freddy is fit to join the party while the guests chatover drinks in between taking breaks from the dancing. An older gentleman, Mr. Browne, flirts with