Essay about Literary Analysis: Clay and The Dead

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Literary Analysis: Clay and The Dead In the fifteen Dubliners stories, city life, religion, friends and family bring hope to individuals discovering what it means to be human. Two stories stood out in James Joyce’s Dubliners. One story attempts to mislead readers as it is hard to follow and the other story is the most famous story in the book. In the stories “Clay” and “The Dead,” James Joyce uses escape themes to deal with the emotions of the characters, Maria and Gabriel living in the Dublin society. Both stories take place during the winter on Halloween and Christmas, which are the holiday seasons and the season of death. In “Clay,” the main character, Maria is a patient, old woman and a former maid for rival brothers Joe and…show more content…
Her appearance, although, is witch-like. Whenever she laughed twice while drinking the tea “the tip of her very long nose nearly met the tip of her very long chin” (101). When she later looks at herself in the mirror, she does not see her face at all, only her body, as it looked when she was young. “In spite of its years she found it a nice little tidy body” (96). Joe’s children were instinctively put –off by Maria’s physical ugliness which was a great sorrow to Maria. A lovely person like Maria should have been married and should have a chance to know the love of a husband and children of her own. Gabriel also gets criticized and “put-off” by the guests, his family and his aunts during the party. Even though his moving, heartfelt speech brought his aunts to tears, Gabriel knows and thinks that one day, in the not-too-distant future that he will return to his aunts’ house, not for another holiday party, but for their funerals. Gabriel wanted to escape and leave the house, but he acted very gentlemanly at the party even though there were miscommunications and disagreements between Miss Ivors about Irish politics as well as Aunt Kate and Freddy. When the conversations end, he feels that Miss Ivors and others have made a fool out of Gabriel, but her lightness and good spirit would seem to suggest that her intentions were innocent and that Gabriel came off as the bad guy. In the course of the evening’s games, the children
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