Content Category

Literary Criticism

Abstract/Description

Who is really dead in “The Dead”? My paper focuses on the concept of literal and figurative death as represented by the characters of James Joyce’s story “The Dead.” I argue that the protagonist of the story Gabriel Conroy is compelled to commit suicide as a means of competing with his wife Gretta’s long-dead lover. Joyce sets up Gabriel as a victim of Irish Revivalism, a backward-looking brand of Irish nationalism that the author rejected. Imagery from the story (and particularly the ending scene) point to Gabriel’s decision to kill himself and his interactions with other characters show us why he was driven to this point. Understanding the concept of death within the story we can better understand Joyce’s strong aversion to Irish Revivalism which, despite its name, carried with it nothing but dead tradition.

Location

B132 JFSB

Start Date

20-3-2015 12:00 PM

End Date

20-3-2015 1:30 PM

Share

COinS
 
Mar 20th, 12:00 PM Mar 20th, 1:30 PM

Death and Irish Revivalism in "The Dead"

B132 JFSB

Who is really dead in “The Dead”? My paper focuses on the concept of literal and figurative death as represented by the characters of James Joyce’s story “The Dead.” I argue that the protagonist of the story Gabriel Conroy is compelled to commit suicide as a means of competing with his wife Gretta’s long-dead lover. Joyce sets up Gabriel as a victim of Irish Revivalism, a backward-looking brand of Irish nationalism that the author rejected. Imagery from the story (and particularly the ending scene) point to Gabriel’s decision to kill himself and his interactions with other characters show us why he was driven to this point. Understanding the concept of death within the story we can better understand Joyce’s strong aversion to Irish Revivalism which, despite its name, carried with it nothing but dead tradition.