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James Joyce Symbolism

Decent Essays
“The Dead” By James Joyce tells the tale of the early twentieth century upper class society in the Irish city of Dublin. The story tells of the characters entrapment, the tragic lives they lead and hiding behind the conventions of their society. This comes together, not only to tell of the individual tragedy of these people’s lives, but to tell the tragic story of all of Ireland, as its true problems become obscured in so many ways. The story dramatizes a dialogue between Gabriel’s consciousness and unconsciousness. Throughout the story there are several signs of the symbolism theory. Therefore, I will show how symbolism plays an important role in the story “The Dead”. Joyce lets symbolism flow freely throughout his story. He utilizes his main characters and objects to impress upon the readers his view of Dublin’s crippled condition. Coupled with his depiction of Dublin’s transfixed status through the characters, Joyce illustrates his theme of paralysis through snow. Symbolically representing the cold and dead Dublin due to its uncertain political period. Winter is a time for celebration and holiday but it is also a symbol for eternal sleep and death. Joyce takes on a more deeper meaning, symbolizing how humans are the same way, frozen temporarily in an impermanent state: alive but always dying; just as snow will always melt, human life will always end. Throughout the text all manifestations of winter, cold, white snow and the season itself usually represents mortality.
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