Thematic Purpose Behind Snow

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James Joyce is praised for his distinct stylistic purpose and furthermore for his writings in the art of free direct discourse. Though at times his language may seem muddled and incoherent, Joyce adds a single fixture to his narratives that conveys unity and creates meaning in the otherwise arbitrary dialogue. Within the story “The Dead”, the final and most recognizable piece in the collection Dubliners, the symbol of snow expresses a correlation with the central character and shows the drastic transformation of such a dynamic character in Gabriel Conroy. The symbol of snow serves as the catalyst that unifies mankind through the flawed essence of human nature, and shows progression in the narrow mind of Gabriel. Snow conveys the emission…show more content…
Joyce uses the symbol of snow to illuminate the variety of traits, both positive and negative that represent impairments of humanity, while still allowing for the fluorescent elegance of existence. “Yes the newspapers were right. Snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling on every part of the dark central plains, on the treeless hills…and farther westward” (Joyce 223). Joyce’s intentions with the use of snow arguably uncovers the symbol as effecting all of nature, and furthermore represents the defects of Gabriel’s which in turn depicts the overarching faults of humanity. Throughout the story Joyce portrays Gabriel as a man that holds himself as superior to others. Fixated on superficial perfection, which is shown in the scene when he and Gretta enter the party. In this scene it is evident of Gabriel’s fear of harsh realities of humanity, the snow. Immediately as Gabriel his pompous and shallow attitude becomes evident. Gabriel’s discourteous remark to Gretta for causing their late arrival, accurately depicts his character as he initially seeks shelter from the snow. His comments to Gretta uncovers his owned dominance in the relationship, and the force used to rid himself of the snow represents the constant effort he exerts to avoid the common troubles of humanity, and disconnects him from the others vying to escape the same misfortune. From the first contact with the symbolic snow, Gabriel detaches himself from the others due to the
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