Sunday, September 14, 2008

9/14/08 The Dead

After reading James Joyce’s short story the dead I found it to be somewhat wordy. I didn’t find much meaning in the party that goes on in the story. It was somewhat frustrating to see the story end the way that it did, in that it was sort of a “and this is the end” type ending. However, I did find it interesting that Gabriel last thoughts seam to contradict his statement that her makes at the party. I find it interesting that it was also Gabriel’s wife Gretta who proves his theory that we should only think of things in the present and keep the dead and the things of the past in the past. Even more compelling is the fact that Gretta becomes nostalgic about Michel fury, the boy that she was in love with as a young girl. We could reasonably assume that this is the first time that Gabriel has heard about this boy from his wife. This sets up and interesting dynamic where Gabriel’s wife proves him wrong with the memory of her deceased childhood love. Moreover Gretta continues on to tell him that she thinks it was out of his longing to be with her that he died. This exchange sets up an interesting parallel between the winter night of the past, that Michel fury died on and the winter night in the present. This parallel proves Gabriel point that the past and the present are not link wrong once again. The story dives home the point that Gabriel was wrong with its ending imagery with they snow falling and Gabriel contemplating his own mortality.
On a separate thought I think that the Gabriel comes off as a jerk, first his insults lady at the door about her marriage prospects then here make a clearly wrong claim in his toast and latter her try to sleep with Gretta even thought she is clearly upset about her memory of Michel fury.

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