Analysis Of The Poem ' The Dead '

1804 WordsDec 9, 20148 Pages
grandparents, or single aunts or uncles (Daly 581). Gabriel stepped up as the patriarch to care for and manage the Morkan family. They all rely on him to carve the goose and deliver the speech at the party. He represents the controlling male of the household and therefore, after the matter of it all, he realizes that his greatest treasure is the family; without the members of his family he does not have a reason for pursuing onward in life. Tomas Monterrery comments that “The Dead” was “Joyce’s crowning masterpiece in the short story genre, both chronologically and aesthetically […as it] disappears or blends at different points […] only to converge in the epiphanic experience of Gabriel” (Monterrery 63). We witness Gabriel’s epiphany at the end of the story as he reflects on the evening’s events and how important his family was in being a vehicle for his success. Joyce wrote, “His soul had approached that region where dwell the vast hosts of the dead. [… H]is own identity was [unfold]ing” (Joyce 195). Gabriel knew his life was deteriorating and that the dead were dominating his mind as he reflected on the past, he needed a transition and thus the thought to “journey westward” unfolds his intentions to pursue himself again as his family fades. In reality, though, we cannot always identify the main characters’ objectives with Joyce; his experiences can give us insight, but there is a reason he is writing fiction and not biography; he isn’t necessarily expressing his personal
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