Reader Response to James Joyce's The Dead Essays

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Reader Response to Joyce's The Dead

James Joyce's story "The Dead" has a tremendous impact on the

readers, especially those who are familiar with the political situation in

Ireland at the time about which the Joyce wrote the final story in

Dubliners. In exploring the meaning of James Joyce's long short-story,

"The Dead", there are many critical approaches to take. Each approach

gives readers a lens, a set of guidelines through which to examine and

express ideas of the meaning of "The Dead." Joyce himself said that the

idea of paralysis was the intended theme of all the stories in The Dubliners

of which "The Dead" is the final story.

Of all critical approaches, reader
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The images reflect Gabriels ego in a sense, at the same for his

marital relationship, and at the end death, which may not be physical but

spiritual. Gabriel who is tallish and stout symbolizes authority and also

wants to be perfect for all times. He has a mental block, which makes him

believe that he is more superior and different than others are. He's built

a screen around himself, which stops him from identifying himself with the

"Common Man." The "...polished lenses and the bright gilt rims of the

glasses which screened his delicate and restless eyes...."(23,24). This

image perhaps tells us that the glasses are the screen that partition his

vision from the vision of others.

Joyce's intended theme of paralysis is exemplified in the

symbolization of snow. In the story, snow has a major role as it

symbolizes the political situation at the same time where everything was

cold and dead due to the political uncertainty at the time. Snow also

plays a major role as it interprets the reader to be on the alert, as

things at the end are not going to be as smooth as Gabriel had predicted.

This seen in the shift of mood when after the party had concluded, Gabriel

and his wife are heading towards the hotel and he's in a very
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