The Dead Essay

Submitted By 15wrighta
Words: 651
Pages: 3

Amanda Wright
Mr. D'Ambrosio
AP English Literature/Comp, Period 5
07 November 2014
"The Dead" "Yes, yes: that would happen very soon." Indeed, very soon and in such little time one is able to understand the character of Gabriel on a deeper level. In just a few short paragraphs James Joyce is able to provide for us, through clever words, techniques, diction, motifs, and imagery, tremendous insight into who Gabriel truly is as a person in the short story, "The Dead." By using third person narration with a stream of consciousness, Joyce enabled the readers to delve deep into the mind of Gabriel, allowing the audience to grasp an understanding of the character's inner qualities. The use of a third person narrator reveals Gabriel's detachment from his marriage. He looks at his wife "as though he and she had never lived together as man and wife." This allows the audience to infer that Gabriel and his wife are not as close as a happily married couple should generally be. Joyce uses another technique, stream of consciousness, to describe the emotions and thoughts that Gabriel is experiencing while observing his wife as she is sleeping. As he looks at her, he remarks on her physical appearance as he "thought of what she must have been then, in the time of her first girlish beauty." These words leave the readers wondering if the characters were once two people in a loving relationship that became weak due to the struggles of life. Also revealed are a few character traits of Gabriel's, weakness and cowardice. He thinks to himself while looking at his wife's face, "it was no longer the face for which Michael Furey had braved death." This statement unveils the fact that Gabriel is a coward who will not give up his life for a loved one. These words along with "she had had that romance in her life: a man had died for her sake," reveal to the reader that Gabriel's wife was once very much in love with another man who died to save her life. The imagery throughout the story aids in the creation of the mood but also allows to readers to concur that Gabriel is an observer. As he looks around the room he takes note of the clothes flung carelessly in the room, "One boot stood upright, its limp upper fallen down: the fellow of it lay upon its side." The motif "limp" represents Gabriel's weakness as a man. Another example of imagery is "dressed in black, his silk hat on his knees." This image leads the readers to picture…