This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
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" is a moralityplay cast in tion. upon the story. maning. snow from his galoshes. Galoshes existspewho classifiesthe storyas "about cificallyto resist snow.most adequately symanalysisof certainneglectedaspects bolize opposition to the snow."The storyin the Modern Library ediDead. That the The question of destiny or freewill snow has a symbolicvalue has been is neitherasked nor answered.made defiancesof nature and the ment.least his feet.has elaborated the sigAt Gabriel Conroy'sfirst appear. but little attention Joycedoes not definethe degreeof has been concentrated upon the gaGabriel Conroybears loshes. menides.2his first act is to scrape the the form of an Aristotelian tragedy. O HEHIR James Joyce'sshort story.They typify man's prideghosts more vindictive than Mi.ful but puny attemptto defeatthe chael Furey's unhappy shad e. in his overshoes." on the third page of the tion betweenhis wifeand the ghost . theyare is also a ghoststory.1957 STRUCTURAL SYMBOL IN JOYCE'S "THE DEAD" BRENDAN P.or at to carry connotations of the Eu. in his name.perfectly to counadequate symbols servedbyJoyce's brother Stanislaus. and generalities must depend upon not himself. if true. and noted by almosteverycommentator hamartiaseemsto coincidewithsin.CENTURY TWENTIETH LITERATU A Volume3. thougheven he. galoshes are artificial. of thestory. to protect ghosts:thedead who come back out and insulate against it. -but. seems Man must shelter himself. taken at face value.3 They cannot be equated responsibility for his own guilt and therefore with Gabriel himself-they are "acmoral judgment must be suspend cidents" inhering in his "essence" ed. tervailthesnow. Furtherof envyforthe happinessof the liv." as its titleimplies. Number1 SCHOLARLY AND CRITICAL JOURNAL lpril."' Such an unsympathetic judg. But Joyce .more. But justification of these thereforeGabriel's galoshes. This factis ob. "The Dead. eternaland overwhelming universe. must be applied to elements.nificanceof Gabriel's galoshes into ance in his own person in "The the symbolickey to his tragic posiDead.
and whathe cannothe their proper identity. or was at least foreshadowed before where conversation turns upstairs. Conroy. In theDublin of the hotel rooms. Christmas party-thevery Gabriel's importation of galoshes. help. O. and reveals how unsympa. "That's the latest. but you'll By now a numberof corollaries can be deduced from the opposition of galoshes to snow.and forcing on the continent. but I wouldn't. but humors him galoshes are exotic importations when she can.Whenever it's wet underfoot I must put on mygoloshes.Gretta thinkshis preConroys and the Misses Morkan cautions absurd. Atunt Julia.The of husband and wife meanings tangled in association estrangement with Gabriel's galoshes.by which will shutout. and the galoshes themselvesdo not entirelydisapGrctta would let nature take its pear until theirfinaldefeatby the course with her children as with snow. and Mrs. A correct an -is index of his alienation from of the unfoldunderstanding story's . We both have a pair percha whatwith forTom'seyes now. Conroy. in its progress. neverguesswhat he makesme wear now!" She brokeout intoa peal of laughter. town rather than travel home to fused to wear her galoshes.Aunt Kate." said Mrs..cabs and phase of the tragicaction the words 4 . and on the other we may see the shadow of a second dichotomy: the continent against Ireland. her head slowly. "Goloshes!" said Mrs.plain. to exthat are snow.when rethe nightat the GreshamHotel in Gretta. Tonighteven. ing requiresawarenessthatthisdifof view existsfromthe first Analysisof a passage earlyin the ference story will extricate some of the betweenMr. began.. viewedwith the same too ridiculousto weargaloshesto a wordsugsuspicionas all thingscontinental." Eva to eat the stirbells. Howeverit would be fromabroad.4 Gabriel which.At the beginning of the third the weather. ."Guttasaid. On the one hand we may read the strife of artifice against Nature. Gabriel dominates "act" of the story" theyreappear in whathe can.Conroy. interplay."she "Yes. things." murmured about. atwithGretta's more closelywith the partyof the tempts.constitutes has joined his wife and his aunts the substratum of the plot.at home in Monkstown.on thecontinent. by galoshes.Julialearns galoshes theticshe is towardhis attempts to "'guttapercha things" that you "wearoveryourboots": controlhis environment: "Don't mindhim. herselfunsure.The poorchild!Andshesimply "0. thinghe'll buy me will be a diving suit."# the sightof it! .of his mother." he remarks. shades green wears them Gabriel says everyone at night and making himdo thedumb. home in the snow if she were let. "He's reallyan awful bother.maternally-induced the normsof the ambient culture." does notevenknowwhatthey Gretta's rejoinder identifies her Aunt Kate. Aunt Julia represents another Monkstown: "But as for Gretta of hostility to galoshes.gests to her the comic dialect of a a characteristic blackfaceminstrel show. "she'd walk form are.She there. about his prudent plan to spend the opening of the story.he wantedme to put thenm The next on. nodding hates . These sets of oppositions are in through- out the story.
Gabriel Conto sounds and words royis sensitive and speech.but he is not so snobbishas to be disturbedby the vulgarityof a maidservant. Gabriel's firstcontact with anotherpersonin the storyin his disastrous encounter with Lily. to drown his pride.who shareswithhim a catchin the voice and a slightstutter. 227) ironically paraphrases what the reader later learns about Gabriel's relationship to his wife. puns atrociously Uncultivatedspeech surroundsGabriel."His own speech is precise. the first who give the storyits name enters the risingaction. the maid.we are told. Brown.but herspeech has also a more overt effect. Early in the second "act.and beside it a depiction of the murderedprincesin the Tower-emblems of Love and Death. attentionto driftto the picturesin the room. 235) Later in the evening Brown on his own name. thathe Theywouldthink education. Lily's syntaxand vocabularyare of a social class lower than Gabriel's. however effectively theyfunctionas symbols. While Mary Janc Morkan plays on the piano a difficult and unrewarding Academy piece. and the backfireof his atation by giving her money. Lily's complaint. Ireland is unrefined. lie was airinghis superior would fail withthemjust as he had failedwiththegirlin the pantry. his exbriel mustconstantly falsify in order to forget this." (p.Firsthe sees a representation of the balcony scene fromRomeo and Juliet. (See below) signify Snow and galoshes. What disturbshim is the reminder of vulgarity'subiqand Gauity. Like James Joyce. The odious Mr. unlistening and allows his nursing his irritations. with Death coiled in the heart of Love-the major themes . (p. The drunken joviality of the "screwed" Freddy Malins is set offagainst the opaque garrulousnessof his mother. Her bitterretortto his condescending pleasantryabout marriage. and she pronounceshis last name with threesyllables.and by the end it has penetratedthe obtuseness he wearslike a divingsuit. are little more than symbols. Gabriel. He recognizeshe will not be safer among the company upstairs than he was with Lily-he fearsthe discoursehe has prepared for the evening will be over the heads of his hearers: 5 Th'lcindelicate clackiigof the incn's heels and the shuffling of theirsoles reminded him thattheir gradeof culmake himselfridiculousby quoting to themwhichtheycould not poetry understand. force him to panicky retreat upstairs. ceived his speech in silence." (p. with one instinct.just as does the snow. and may therefore subconsciouslysting Gabriel'samourpropre." long before the ghost of Michael Furey has begun to stir under the moongreynettlesand black mould of his of the restlessdead grave."the men that is now is only all palaver and what theycan get out of you."assumeda very low Dublin accent so that the reyoung ladies.Vulperience garity forced upon him rips through his insulation and unnerveshim until he can repair the breach. 229) is a marked class-conscious awareture differed fromhis.The realities behind them can be distinguishedspecifically only by following carefullythe dramatic actionsof Gabriel Conroy.ilt his goloshes will have come to in his rashpride. He would only Throughout '"The Dead" there to regain control of the situtemnpt ness of speech levels.
he an admirerof continenbelonging to "the better-class ilies on the Kingstownand Dalkey tal literature. and at Morkan musical talent. Conroy of the Port and quiring his desperatedenial. his her-"he could not riska grandiose galoshes. galoshes and ridiculed his." and to call Patrick of Gabriel. his contacts quarrel he cannot get the best of with the continent-in short. first scend the world of the starch-mill Universityand then as teachers. but his rebetween his 1pressed an unresolvedconflict political self is on Molly's mother and his wife.and during it his self-reIt is also gardingpride begins to corruptinirnthe Royal University. Con. Ga. As duty re.one maybe sure."-a hybrid neither countrycute and that was not true truly British nor Irish.we learn nothing particularlyannoying to have his but his name and place of business: mother'staunts float up again.reershad been parallel.thusiast. the action is now fully stantine was now senior curate in under way. an imperialist rankled in his memory." It is thanks to her many years' standingand theircaat the driving social ambition to tran. The encounterreveals Balbrigganand." of book reviewsin slightingphrasesshe had used still the Daily Express. since "they were friends of "glue-boiler." but she had lacked the could only incessantly deny." (p. In everyway theyare line" (p." in Back Lane and the music pupils (p. 239) Gabriel had been at the centerof ture above politics. For this she calls him once spoken of Gretta as being "West Briton. They are both the same Morkan.an externaliiother's sisters as "two ignorant ized projection of a hidden aspect old women. 241) But she is a Gaelic enfam.Ellen Conroy had never ceased to fromher sisters. 225) thathe had acquired antipodal and yet akin.and yet his mother'sphrases rangraph of his motheris also in view. C." (p." This accusation Gabriel carrier. Gabriel wants to say that he places literaof Grettaat all. Gabriel sided with Gretta.in the plot. re"T. his mother's father. it was Gabriel's father. Gabriel encounsons.and the urbane prudence of a civilized of fam. With his mother made them-"thanks to her. insinuate that Grettawas "country kan. Docks. Yet Gabriel was not en.that to hybris.") Ellen was the guiding Immediately after this recollechand in the upbringing of her tion of his mother. The late Ellen Conroy. The ghost of Gabriel's thoughts centeron her. She had times.more fullyGabriel's characterand briel himselfhad taken his degree attitudes. Obviously the conflict had never been resolved.phrase with her"-and where he is tirely happy in rememberinghis perplexedand agitated.of the storyin which he is himlself quircd. In their his breadth of view. when she refusedto wear her "verysensibleof thedignity ily life.man. what theywere todayshe had ters Molly Ivors." tlanks to her. thanksto her. J. Some is the "G. Gabriel was able to think of his Molly Ivors is a foil. kled.ned Mor. had differed Aunt Kate called her "the brains cute.she has the mother:"A shadow passed over his last word. A photo. 239) (Of her husband.as when Gretta laughed at been serious and matronly. she had newspaper. a age. an unconscious actor.The occasion of thequarthatGabriel face as he remembered her sullen rel is Molly'sdiscovery opposition to his marriage.side: "She had no rightto call him 6- .
" ing him from the middle ground shewanted me to go "only unnerves him and rouses him to moodily.of Whenshe demands a WestBriton. Molly's Twice Miss Ivorsaskshim why. certainly.Two pages later is blown lated into simple termsof concrete this flimsy equivocation geography. viewimmensely.the accusation thatshe is country The compromise he deniestheimerature which Molly had compre. to France premeditated devastation ofa snowor Belgium or Germany."It would for Gretta too be splendid by his dehumanized perceived He does not. Connacht. And Gabriel has no answer. Gabriel reactsas if to of politicsto lit.her countryness. asserting centerone may travel either west.together firm pressing will conversation with his of Molly tone" and indicate withher "softfriendly heat the of real source the in his ear.shortly. to tellyouthetruth. hintsthatshe does have a life of mindhe his of a politics-in region her own." said Gabriel look. . 7 . or east. of his hand." to wonderabout himself permits and halfconsiders sincerity. the reply liter. outburst: aryselfis theonlyone in thecom. even in joke." her propagandism?" (p.Gabriel's storm.Instinctively from hended in the epithet "West Brit.putation. journey.but silent. 242) Gabriel country.cute.of theeastward but her repressed literature. feel safely she?" superiorto Molly: "It isn't him to thinkthat she unnerved "Her people are.His Mollycould equallywonder liesdeeperthanan isare sue difficulty brielwerereally alive.indicatethat Miss Ivors ed Gretta: feelsforhim a chastepassionunsen. if Ga. . it."Of course."(p. 246) But last." recklessness.Her invitation slighting phrases to Gabrielto come withher next Ivors' innocentquestion.She'sfrom sibilities. to knowwhatwas She wants compromisesare tenable only so the row Gabriel had with Molly long as he remains unaware of Ivors: them as compromises.To the to the suggestion on a tripwestward thatGrettacame from summer Aran Isles is a directchallenge." briel'sinterests: own sick of "I'm Gabriel my suddenly. hertruenature unwiththefrank to the Aran Isles. curtly conceding of the com. Connacht. Molly's forcsaid Gabriel "Therewas no row. sick of 243) (p. (p. herone of thedead: "Had shereal.if she'dcome.forthere or even of summer holidays. wouldbe at thesupper-table.is an explosive Gapany capable of appreciating retorted "she liked[his]re. From Dublin as the aside by Grettaherself. 246) quizzing The next roundof the combat cates that echoes of his mother's lurkwithinMiss goes also to Molly. he remains ly any life of her own behindall you've at sheproclaims no answer.-her "warmgrasp" and refuses of part A review to explore. whispers to Molly'sinvitation in her behaviorthatpuzzle the shifts includof course Aran had Isles Gabriel.borne the taint.only that "her people" may have bolic and symptomatic promisesof Gabriel's life-is trans." (p. 242) ingup at himwhilehe spokewith hercritical Gabriel's sharp rejoinderindieyes. Gretta and separates on"-a compromise in itself sym. forhis choice him an above explanation Molly 244) politics places (p."O. and all those in his retort.
too. owing allegiance to no one but herself.he turnsonce more for solfh:e selfa Dubliner.It is not merely a tiff between Gretta and Gabriel. Wellington. Every action now will hasten Gabriel to his doom. pressing in like that Wellington's Monument is essentially no more than a tombstone. do go. Now Gretta confronts him with the ineluctable fact. the intensityof the followingapplause is conditioned by the unspoken prescience that Death is soon to be her bridegroom. then turned to Mrs. and that is exactly what she does. Gabriel has released her to return alone to Galway. Mrs.and concert-singers. Malins.nor does it occur to him For him the monumentrepresents an ideal serenity aloof fromthevulgar turmoilof theChristmas party. ends at last. to opera...' said Gabriel coldly." (p.as naturally Dublin.for a trip to the west of Ireland and I said I wouldn't. 258) vision of the Wellington MonuAs Gabriel stands to begin the ment.7 famishedhostsof the dead gresses. "of their last end.had made his mark to a mentalview of the Wellington to the eastward. in plain sight of the Misses Morkans' house. Gabriel will recall this awareness: "Poor Aunt Julial She. Later in the night. would soon be a shade . her westerness. Gabriel.after his own calamity. grown lugubrious. glorytheobelisk whichstood about a mile away. and he can only respond by rejecting her: "'You can go if you like. ." (p. and rather than confess the fact to himself and to his dead mother.When Aunt Julia singsbeforedinner her old song. 286) At dinner the conversation it mightin Joyce's runs." His wife clasped her hands cxcitedly ald( gave a little jump. He had caught that haggard look upon her face for a momentwhen she was singing Arrayed for the Bridal. "O.Monuiment: "The WellingtonMonand a grateful umentworea gleamingcap of snow gium and Germany. 245) Here is the dramatic turningpoint of the story. Gabriel has had his face set resolutely toward the East. "I'd love to see Galway again. This rejection is his tragic error." (p. But soon in reminiscences the (lead artistsof the past drift. and Gretta herself is not unaware that she has been cast off: She looked at him for a moment. it remains a splendid weighing upon his mind all eveEastern symbol. British nation had erected to his thIt flashed westward over the the shades around Odysseus.in France and Bel. him. live in unbrokensilence and sleep in theircoffins. Malins and said: "There's a nice husband for you.. "buried in a ti . Arrayedfor the Bridal.ning. 245) 6 This is no simple case of husband and wife at cross purposes." The topic." she cried. Unmindful of impending fate. She has forced to his attention her country origin. to remind them." IHenceforthGretta is a free agent. As the party at the Morkans' proflock to the feast. Gabriel consoles his mind with a silence of the table .as Mary Jane puts it (anticipating the story's finalsentence).one by one. Although ironically capped after-dinner speech that has been with snow. away from any acknowledgment of Gretta's countryness. to the table. The talk then turns unaccountably to the Trapwho pistmonksof Mount Melleray. Gabriel in effectdivorces his wife." (p. Gabriel has no insightinto the meaning of the snow.
Althoughhis attackon Molly was pointless.of absent facesthatwe misshere tonight. . but for And not only the great are dead and gone--"thereare always. But the monumentis west of the Morkan house on Usher's Island. gyricupon the Irish national virtue of hospitality.Later Gabriel would characterize his behavior as "acting as forhis aunts .in conformity of his dead mother. Therefore." and his horse. sees a woman. ." (p. such "in gatherings as thissadder thoughts that will recur to our minds: thoughtsof the past.but thereis a curiousjugglingof perspective. Gabriel tells a tale about his grandfather. Gabriel visualizes the monument at the east of his mentalpicture.of changes.to take its view of the flashing monument from the farther westernshadows.Johnny. Our path through life is strewn with many such sad memories .and with her heart saddened by her husband's rebuff." Gabriel continues. While Gretta is dressing upstairs.Gretta. "the late lamented Patrick Morkan. past the monument. His tributeto his aunts ringswith and he delivers a panesincerity. that he permits his wife'sdetached living affections to fastenupon the memoryof her dead lover. our strenuous endeavors.. .white fieldof FifteenAcres. since she had leftbeforesupper.her thoughts of the past and of Galway freshly stirred.But even the into Gabriel's toastmastership lugubrious note of the table-talk enters. In that gathering.since its snow-cap "flashed westward" over the Fifteen Acres." (pp. his wife.listen- 262) . Having told Molly Ivors he was sickof his counhe pours forththe fulsomeeultry.. past even the white fieldof the Fifteen Acres." (p. "leaning on the banisters.but to scorea point off Miss Ivors he determined to cater to his audience. looking upward. orating pennyboy the presentsuccessintoxicates him.the stratsucegymade his speech immensely cessful.for he invokes "those dead and gone greatones whosefamethe world will not willingly let die. 259-60) Here the monument still dominatesthe snow. "Gabriel paced in a circleround the hall in his goloshes amid the laughter of the others. But Gabriel is oblivious of such possibilities-he goes on to homilize: "We have all of us livingduties and living affections which claim. and the Wellington Monument in fact is east of the Fifteen Acres. Upstairs somebodyis "foolingat the piano. Gabriel had feared his talk would be over the heads of his hearersand had thoughtof his aunts as ignorant old women." 9 to vulgarians. sits Gabriel's wife.which he has never found equalled in all of his experience abroad. 267) In thusmocking thedead Gabriel showsthe first symptoms of the madness that comes fromexcessof pride. His tragic failure divertseach of themfromthe living to the dead. Gabriel's actual position. ." (p.Unwittingly the melancholy words reflectthe circling of her mind through thoughtsof youth and changes." and Gabriel. 283). and rightlyclaim." Yet it is preciselyby disowninghis livingduties towards to the values Gretta. in focussing his thoughton his Eastern Gabriel's mind has traveled symbol.of youth. ogies of a patrioticorator.to sadder memoriesof Michael Furey. At the conclusion of his anecdote. The speech itself is interwoven with similar unconscious ironies. The third "act" opens as the partyis breakingup. westward.
escaped from home and and run away together friends with wild and radiant hearts to a new adventure. his sudBut the cab seems more akin to a den suspicion that Gretta wants to than to a honey. 281) eastward." briel. The dull at the back of Gahouse.he asked ironically.D'Arcy .hoarse. "You nameof thatsongyou weresinging?" are a very generous person." singerwho hauntsher-a personshe In a group of fourtheyleave the knew once in Galway.. the rain falls on my heavylocks And thedewwetsmyskin.8 Gretta is listening to Bartell D'Arcy singing. When Gretta comes downstairs Gabriel observes color on her cheeks and her eyes shining. 280) His infatuation makes him think she is yielding said Mr. ." she said. morningsky. but thinksof her as posed for a picture he would call "Distant Music.alongside Bartell D'Arcy. Ga"It's called The Lass of Aughrim. without er of Gretta'sgirlhood.--"a sudden tide of joy went leaping out of his heart. she repeat. He misses the point entirely "Mr. words expressing grief."whatis the when she kisses him saying. What Grettaactuallyhearsdistant." (p. covered statue of Dan O'Connell. Gabriel's ironic probing. His mother's his mind intoxicatedwith thoughts old taunt and the incident with of his wife.and Gabriel. In high spiritshe calls what Aristotlecalls the Tragic Ina gay greetingto the ghostlysnow.and when finallyshe comes to him along the shaft of "ghastly light from the street lamp"-the only illumination of this climactic scene-he misunderstands the reality thus symbolized. threatmay crouch in that western They all catch a cab at the corner backgroundhe had dismissedand of WinetavernStreet.cident with Reversal of Intention.Gretta.makeout whatshe along wearily under the murky ing." (p. 276) T'he horse. drunk with desire for Gretta.in a burstof tears." (p. and.walks Molly Ivors coalesce in thisremindahead through the slush. anger gathering walk eastwardalong the quays. 277) He does not realize how truly all old life has he is encome to an end. than thwarted lust. Michael Furey."-little suspecting how distantfrom him she is.in the old Irish tonality. is cumberedby the trappings of his mortality.she speaks "The Lass of Aughrim.briel's mind involves then more briel walks with Miss O'Callaghan. ignored almost out of existence: in the grip of ate on this last trip "'Someone you were in love with?' Grettaand him.fantasies In the subsequent scene occurs selfgalloping to catch theirhoneymoon boat." of The Lass of A ughrim and of the ed. Even thesong'swordsevoke him: 0. . grows from the fear that a vital the embodimentof her dead past. "I couldn't think of thename." (p. At first raged by Gretta's apparent failure to reciprocatehis desire. Ga." (p.waveringin the old Irish tonality-is the voice of her dead lover.Gabriel "felt that they had escaped from their lives and duties. At the hotel."He cannot is listeningto.until.go to Galway to resumean old lovehearse or a coffin moon coach: "the horse galloped affair (he so desperatelywants to S() .like all living creatures.dragginghis old rattlingbox afterhis heels.D'Arcy. unable to find a cab. with a voice made plaintive and hoarse by a cold.The anger galoshes.however. 272) -but she does not turn towardshim.
deny the real claims of her background that he is willing to accept a base motive for his wife's desire to revisit the west) are set off innocent.had braved death. His undone. his conout: sciousnessis filledwithdeath. ly..Gabriel. band. The last twistof the knifecomes was dead! (pp.guileless-is devastating to Gabriel's elaborate position: The windowwas so wet the window. . and wouldn't . unsubtle. . And whenI was onlya weekin ironically. . In the partial darkness saying of Michael Fureyappears. It hardlypained him now to culturedthan his own.ta's memories. he died and wasburiedin "He was in thegasworks. in the cadences of her her: "So she had had that romance native rustic dialect. .." (p. "I was great thinkhow poor a part he. fallen. . and her long reverypours slowly 285) Looking back soberlynow upon his foolhardy pride. (p.. had played in her life.shades. but he knew that it was no longer you know. wouldbe backin thesum. . and a shorttimelater Gabriel himGretta's tale of Michael Furey self lies down unresentfully beside flows on. I imploredof him to go home at once and told him he wouldget his deathin therain. He was in decline.. 284-85) when Gabriel's anger has ebbed. We used to go out together... against Gretta'sgrieving. I wouldn't Julia-soon.. her huswith him at that time.lapses under the slow driftof Gretand he is leftalone pathy-for Gabriel is a very gen. Each replyunmeditated. And whenit came to the Morkan and his horse.. I heardgravelthrown 11 .(p.But he said he did not wantto live. Grettais touched with it: "He did he was ill .and is pride left to grope his way Gretta?Consumption. knew something right.Gabefore then. too. still end of thewallwhere "Whatwas he?" askedGabriel. waythey ing to study singingonly for his mind the ghosts gather: Patrick health. .I can see his eyesas well as well! He was standing at the there wasa tree." (p. 283) before. and he Gabriel's artificial world coltoo is sorrowful.. Then thenight up against briel's soul "had approached that . so I ran downstairs I was and slippedout the back into was thepoorfelthegarden and there lowat theend of thegarden shivering. . to be a shade-one hima letter by one they were all becoming be let see himso I wrote I . In genuine sym.. . . 286) In his do in thecountry.theysaid.. Gabriel no in her life: a man had died forher longer flinchesfrom a syntax less sake. theconvent where his people came Oughterard. theday I heardthat..and hopinghe would be better the form I left standingunder a drippingtree.Grettasobs herselfto sleep. when his lust has cooled. mer. ."she begins. thathe 0.her face was no longer beautiful. or not like to say even to himselfthat I never likethat. childlike responses." she said. he is "And whatdid he die of so young. poor Aunt timeforme to leave . He wasgo.like the the face for which Michael Furey walking..282) from. as I couldn'tsee.blindly life-on termsmuch humbler than swered. was it?" to a new reconciliation with "I thinkhe died for me" she an. . erous person-he asks her: at the end with the realitieshe has evaded. Even be let out.
across Ireland's "dark pable world: the solid world itself.Wellington'sMonumentwestregion where dwell the vast hosts from of the (lead. His own identity ward across the white field of Fifwas fading out into a greyimpal.For Ga. . into a purifiedlife. the Bog of Allen and. and rehas come for him to turn toward turn home with Gretta to Monksthe setting sun. or. so nuteness in the scale of eternity. The snow symbolizesdeath's anticipates that which the sun is egalitarianand pervasivepresence.. in short.not town. that his mental voyage not only wheAlhe must begin. but (lie. asleep. He activity pressed. .Later in the day he will rise from ence-can only mean that the time sleep. The journeyis a symbolicformulaThe story does not of courseforce tion fromGabriel's subconsciousof the extreme conclusion that Gathe east-west patternin which the briel Conroydies a literaldeath in of his life has been ex.shall lie The refplanned no tripwestward. It falls faintly. 287) physicalrelationshipwith his wife The meaning of this "journey and his wife's buried lover in the westward" has been adumbrated words of a poem by James Joyce.to follows the path of the snow. It is already early that life is inseparablefromdeath. Gabriel vicariousexperienceof death. . in the vernacular briel the thought-one of the great sense of the same words. was dissolving westward. versal of his orientation..and marks a complete re. (p. the treelesshills which these dead had at one time ." (p. region "where dwell the vast hosts 12 . farther reared and lived in. elemental tropesof human experi. Sunset is a nethe Saints. upon all the living a fortunate one. ." (p. but to Aran of awarenessof death. With Conroy'sswooningsoul followsthe the dying hero we approach that snow in an ever-westering journey. 287) To his Shannon waves"-to the crooked sleepy mind as he turns to watch crossesand headstonesof the lonely the snow falling obliquely against churchyard on the hill where Mithe lamplightoutside the window.. and cold erence cannot possiblybe to Molly As his sad hearthas lain . throughoutthe story.teen Acres. . for Gabriel had Dark too our hearts. since that is project for the followingsummer. The time has in a sense Gabriel may be identified come when he must accept the fact with the sun.. .quiescence of his resolved metaney westward.a room of the Gresham Hotel.begins his journey westward. where life is lived in the to the Aran Isles.is dead. to follow. the Isles of the Blest in cessaryantecedent to sunrise. Ivors' holiday trip. O love. and blots out dis. like the descent of Gabriel's tragicfall is essentially their last end.and the dim Atlantic. in the Christiansense only.and yet on She Weeps over Rahoon: the literal level it has no significance at all.problem of life and tragedyis the tinctions between them. 288) a phrase occurs: "The time had Gabriel might have expressed the come forhim to set out on his jour. the dark mutinous and dwindling. and to journey. Death is the chief and all the dead.to the World. chael Furey lies buried. central plain . morningwhen he goes to bed and when he must accept his own mi.
Mulrennan spoke Irish."' spirit put The JohnsHopkinsUniversity tality.the first 238 and the second on page 264. European and Asiatic papers please copy. LVIII (1950). land's westernmost province. gle all through till he or I lie dead. revive on we and immorculprit." trans. Gabriel himselfis the sole source of denigration of his ancestry-his terming his grandfather"the old gentleman" indicates not snobbish defensiveness on his part but deferenceto his aunts. gripping him by the sinewy throat till .Old man sat. Blum fails to make clear the dichotomybetween Gabriel (and his mother) and the Misses Morkan. and Joyce. listened. All page referenceeshenceforth to "The Dead" are to this edition. "The Shifting Point of View: Joyce's'The Dead' and Gordon's 'Old Red'.Galway is the chief town of IreConnacht.buthe becomes.spat. 4The passage runs from page 230 (the kissing of Gabriel by his aunts) to page 232 (the interruptionof the conversationby the arrival of Freddy Malins) . Modern Library. I fear his redrimmed hornyeyes.It is withhim I muststrugthisnighttill day come. 502." Boots are shoes. rubber and Wellingtonsare knee-high storm-boots. "James Joyce: A Memoir. I believe) to interpret roy'swestern journeyin termsdeduced from Joyce's apparent personal preference for lands east of Dublin. of the dead.anddied." 13 . Till what? Till he yield to me? No. John Alphonsus Mulrennan has just returnedfromthe west of Ireland. offthe coast of which lie the Aran Islands. Gabriel Conroy may have 'Stanislaus Joyce. there must be terriblequeer creatures at the latter end of the world.smoked. Old man spoke Irish. Hudson Review. Later reprinted in Allen Tate and Caroline Gordon. 1-15. 7A perhaps pertinentobservation is the fact that in Ireland a Wellington is also a "guttaperchathing that you wear over yourboots.I fear him. 2Dubliners (New York. Felix Giovanelli. 226. . "By the word "act" I mean each of the three dramatic divisions of the of which ends on page story. 48-49. . 297-298): April 14. 1956). An interesting text for meditationin this regard is an entry reflectingmany of the themesof "The Dead" in the notebook kept by Stephen Dedalus prior to his own Icarus-flighteastward to Newhaven-Dieppe-Paris (A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. James. p. Winter." Critique I (Minneapolis. The tension between east and west can never be unambiguouslyresolved. The House of Fiction (New York. 1950)." and with his reborn sinned inl a "foenix the end. that is untenable. pp.a recent article has been called to my atseveralpoints tentionwhichestablishes similar to those made here about the galoshes and Gabriel's mother-Morgan Blum." Sewanee Review.pp. Mulrennan spoke to him about universeand stars. Old man had red eyes and shortpipe. However. 1926). I mean him no harm. . the position of the WestBriton. I thinkMr. Then said: -Ah. !Since this paper was written. may be made (ill-advisedOAttempts Gabriel Conly. He told us he met an old man there in a mountain cabin. II (1950). But a journey in one directionor the other may be inevitable-it is only the midway point. Then old man and Mulrennan spoke English. 8This scene has been analyzed by Allen Tate in "Three Commentaries: Poe.
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