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James Joyce “The Dead” Dubliners. Published with the rest of the collection but written in Trieste in 1907.

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Presentation on theme: "James Joyce “The Dead” Dubliners. Published with the rest of the collection but written in Trieste in 1907."— Presentation transcript:

1 James Joyce “The Dead” Dubliners

2 Published with the rest of the collection but written in Trieste in 1907

3 Setting → Julia and Kate Morkan ’ s house (during their Christmas party) → along the river Liffey, a cab → a hotel room

4 Characters  the hostesses (Julia + Kate Morkan, their niece Mary Jane)  Gabriel, Gretta  Lily, the housemaid  the guests: Miss Ivors (a University teacher, fanatically in love with Ireland) Freddy Malins (a drunkard) Mr Bartell D’Arcy (a singer) Mr Browne (a Protestant)

5 Structure and plot 3 parts: arrival of guests and first dances Gabriel ’ s dance with Miss Ivors, supper and speech song, departure, hotel scene (revelation of Gretta ’ s past love) three stages of a unified theme: a man ’ s realization of his psychological paralysis

6 epiphany “By an epiphany he meant ' a sudden spiritual manifestation, whether in the vulgarity of speech or of gesture or in a memorable phase of the mind itself. He believed that it was for the man of letters to record these epiphanies with extreme care, seeing that they themselves are the most delicate and evanescent of moments”. Stephen Hero, 1944

7 Gabriel’s egotism → broken down by three “ failures ” 1.Lily ’ s sharp remark on men when he mentions a possible future wedding (failure as a gentleman) 2.Miss Ivors ’ use of the abusive term West Briton (failure as an Irishman) 3.Gretta ’ s withdrawal into the past and her revelation (failure as a man, a lover, a husband)

8 alone to meditate on the living and the dead (Who are the former? Who are the latter?) ambiguous conclusion: 1.he yields to the final paralysis symbolized by the snow 2.he rises from the shades through deeper understanding, generosity, love, a closer union with nature

9 final part of the story: Gabriel gradually abandons his egotism and starts feeling a member of a vaster community in the three final paragraphs: first, he compares his love to Michael’s (he has never been able of such a feeling) then he imagines he sees the young man and the many human beings that are dead finally he feels his identity fade out to become part of the community of the living and the dead, whom the snow covers with the same whiteness and silence

10 last paragraph →description of the snow: reproduces symbolically the process illustrated in the two previous paragraphs. language: the narrator ’ s or Gabriel ’ s? use of alliterative patterns, sound effects, repetitions→evoke an atmosphere between death and awareness; give unity to the paragraph, enacting the writer ’ s intention to evoke the unity of all creatures in the universe

11 A few light taps upon the pane made him turn to the window. It had begun to snow again. He watched sleepily the flakes, silver and dark, falling obliquely against the lamplight. The time had come for him to set out on his journey westward. Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills, falling softly upon the Bog of Allen and, farther westward, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. It was falling, too, upon every part of the lonely churchyard on the hill where Michael Furey lay buried. It lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and headstones, on the spears of the little gate, on the barren thorns. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.


13 symbols the journey westward the snow first names

14 The West The region where the sun sets, the place of death America: the place where to lay the foundations of a new existence The West of Ireland: wild, half-known country where the roots of real Irishness lie deep; where Gretta and Michael come from (Nora Barnacle). Going west = accept to be totally Irish

15 Snow Cold sterility of the protagonist’s emotional life The common destiny of death + a possibility of rebirth General paralysis

16 Names Michael Daniel 10,13-21: one of the most important angels, their leader, a protector Judas’ Letter 9: the archangel fighting with the devil Revelation 12,7: a war in heaven, Michael and his angels against the dragon Gabriel Daniel 8,15-24: the angel who speaks, explains things to man; reveals what will happen at the end of times, helps man to understand Luke 1,11-20.26: the messenger, brings good news (Zacharias will have a son); announces to Mary the birth of Jesus

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