Dubliners

An Irish Requiem in "The Dead" 12th Grade

“The Dead” by James Joyce, from Dubliners, centers around the events that take place at an annual Christmas party in Dublin, Ireland. This short story follows the protagonist, Gabriel Conroy, who is thrust into these events, and is the only character that expresses his discontent with the state of Ireland. His unhappiness is a direct result of those around him unable to abandon their past lives and beliefs about Ireland. Joyce examines the notion that one must overcome the past in order to embrace the present through the use of exploring the lives of the characters and their inability to escape their memories and the familiarity of Ireland.

The characters in the story fear the unknown and desire to remain in the past and, as a result, remain unable to escape their daily routine and remain in a paralysis. In fearing the unknown, the characters in the story are repulsed by any sort of change that may occur, especially a change from their surroundings – Ireland. Gabriel Conroy expresses his desire to situate himself elsewhere for the Summer, and is immediately chastised for this by another guest at the party, Miss Ivors. The connotation used by Joyce creates the mood and reflects the beliefs of the guests at the dinner party....

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