the dead outline - In James Joyces The Dead the first...

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In James Joyce’s “The Dead”, the first impression of a joyful holiday gathering of well off people gives the wrong impression about a group of people that are living a routine of unfulfilling lives. As the short story begins with friendly conversations and merry dance and music, the story quickly brings about awkward moments and various characters with disappointing lives such as Julia’s wasted voice in the church choir. Joyce uses Gabriel Conroy, a “cultured, progressive, cosmopolitan man “ (193) commonly loved by most of the other characters in the story, as the archetype of a product of posh way of life: a man whose high class and amicability are merely a façade of a man desperately holding onto his insecurities. Joyce uses Gabriel’s three major confrontations with Lily, Molly Ivers, and his wife to expose Gabriel’s failure to communicate, which leads to a stronger desire for a repetition of his posh, sophisticated lifestyle, emphasized through unrelenting metaphors and his own tangible yearnings for routine. Gabriel’s selfish concerns ultimately lead to a life full of isolation and decay. 1. Conversation with Lily a. Clear example of miscommunication in the beginning of the story b. “Gabriel Conroy’s party can be said to have been troubled by the unexpected challenges of three women, who confront his complacencies in order of increasing intimacy, as servant, colleague, and wife.” (195) c. “Gabriel smiled at the three syllables she had given his surname and glanced at her” condescending attitude d. The …’s “rapidly” “trotting”, inability to recognize age social awkwardness e. Norris sees this as a back answer to the seductive subterfuge of the male narrator “the men that is now is only palaver and what they can get out of you” (23). Very surprising answer from a servant f. Quickly dismisses the confrontation and allows his comfortable routine to help him forget it 2. Conversation with Molly Ivers a. Example of miscommunication b. Immediate reaction to MI shows his superficial outlook, describing her outfit “She
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This note was uploaded on 01/16/2012 for the course ENGLISH 124 taught by Professor Peck during the Fall '10 term at University of Michigan.

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the dead outline - In James Joyces The Dead the first...

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