James Joyce and the Dead Essay

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In the year of 1882 in Dublin a famous writer of the name James Joyce was born and as of the year of 1941 in Zurich, Switzerland James Joyce passed away at the age of 59. Joyce began his career by writing short stories that engraved, with extraordinary clarity, aspects of Dublin life. These stories were published a part of the Dubliners in 1914. Fifteen stories of his filled the pages within Dubliners the stories are: The Sisters, An Encounter, Araby, Eveline, After the Race, Two Gallants, The boarding house, A little cloud, Counterparts, clay, A painful case, Ivy day in the Committee room, A mother, Grace and The Dead. He then went onto write the following novels: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916), Ulysses (1922), and…show more content…
During his dance with Miss Ivors, he faces a barrage of questions about his non-existent nationalist sympathies, which he does not know how to answer appropriately. Unable to compose a full response, Gabriel blurts out that he is sick of his own country, surprising Miss Ivors and himself with his unmeasured response and his loss of control. Love seems impossible in “The Dead.” Lily is tired of the men who are “only all palaver and want they can get out of you,” and Gabriel’s aunts Julia and Kate and his cousin Mary Jane are all unmarried. Miss Ivors seems married to her political cause and Freddy Mallins to his drink. Certainly Gabriel loves Gretta, evidenced in thoughts about her all night during the party and especially as they are making their way homeward. Nostalgia, a sentimental longing for the past and the people, places, and things long gone, is a major theme in “The Dead.” The title itself is nostalgic, and the characters in the story serve to reinforce this idea. Nearly every character, from Gabriel and Gretta to Lily and Miss Ivors, has one foot in the past, idealising the days gone by as compared with the current environment. Lily disdains “the men that is now” and in her criticism we understand that she believes men in earlier generations must have been more gentlemanly. Miss Ivors is certainly nostalgic, swept up in the passion of the Irish revival, working to resurrect the language and culture from the near-dead.

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