This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

A Feminist Study Of &Quot;The Dead&Quot;

1141 words - 5 pages

As the last story of James Joyce's short story collection, The Dubliners, "The Dead" is about a young Dubliner's one day of attending his aunts' party and his emotional changes after the party ends. In the paralyzed city the young man feels the atmosphere of death everywhere. And he often has misunderstandings with people, especially women including his wife. From the main character Gabriel's experience, we can see his personal life is in a strained circumstances. This difficult situation is probably caused by his failure to deal with the relationship with the female characters. Many events happen in the story prove that he can not get a real freedom until he understands the value of woman to improve the mutual relationship.

The female characters are from various social classes and each of them has her own attitudes towards life and love. Lily, the caretaker's daughter is the first character to be introduced to us. In the story she is a representative from the labouring class. Comparily, Gabriel is a well-educated young man who seems to have a bright future. When he arrogantly greets her, "I suppose we'll be going to your wedding one of these fine days with your young man, eh?" (Joyce 123). The girl answers bitterly "The men that is now is only all palaver and what they can get out of you" (124). Then Gabriel "color" as if he has made a mistake when Lily becomes upset about the subject of men. This is because he never expects his self-conceited good intention will hurt her feelings so much. Instead of comforting Lily, he "without looking at her", kicks off his goloshes and flicks actively with his muffler at his patent-leather shoes. From this we can see he first chooes to avoid difficulty when the conflict between he and the female character happens. Then he tries to smooth over the situation by giving Lily a coin, hoping money will make up his "mistake." His awkward remedy receives refusal and thus he fails to reconstruct the relationship again. His reaction also reveals about his ability to relate to women and to people of other social classes is not strong. Another thing worths noticing is that the name "Lily", a kind of white flower, has a symbol meaning. People use the flower in the funeral, so the caretaker's daughter is a living symbol of death who stands at the gate letting guests in. So she stands for a key to getting into women' inner world. Thus Gabriel's attemp to understand women' inner world fails.

Conflict also happens between Gabriel and Miss Ivors. Miss Ivors is a typicalized nationalists. She directly attacks Gabriel for writing for The Daily Express. She feels ashamed of him and says to him, " to say you'd write for a paper like that, I didn't think you were a West Briton" (130). She criticized his anti-nationalist attitudes and goes away in the middle of the party. This conflict makes Gabriel feel unpleasant and sad. He is angry because he thinks "she had tried to make him ridiculous before people, heckling him and...

Find Another Essay On A Feminist Study of "The Dead"

Summary of the Ballet "Giselle" Essay

772 words - 3 pages "Giselle" is a romantic ballet choreographed by Jean Coralli and Jules Perrot. Adolphe Adam beautifully composes the music. This ballet was originally performed in Paris in 1841. The production that we viewed in class was from La Salla. "Giselle" is one of the last ballets of the Romantic era. The element that stood out the most to me was how effectively the music and the footwork corresponded. The best examples of this are seen through

A Close Ananlysis of "Daddy" and "Zonnebeke Road"

1885 words - 8 pages , Piteous and silly; the stones themselves must flinch In this east wind; the low sky like a load Hangs over- a dead weight..." I think the idea here is that even in the midst of all this death and decay, nature must be able to show some pathos towards the soldiers. The way the poet has described the wind as "a gargoyle shriek" is quite ominous and creates a tension rather like the tension the soldiers are feeling at going over the top of the

The Richness of Old Age: a New Critical Reading of "to Autumn"

1431 words - 6 pages "Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they? Think not of them, thou hast thy music too." So often, people look back upon their youth and wish that they still had it before them. Our natural tendency is to fear old age, to see it as the precursor to death, rather than a time of life, desirable in its own right. However, in John Keats' poem, To Autumn, he urges us not to take this view, but to see old age as a beautiful and enviable state

"A Doll's House"

1003 words - 4 pages The suppressed position of women was blatantly highlighted in Henrik Isbens play titled "A Doll's House" The dehumanization weathered by Nora, the dependence she felt, along with lack of adequate experience and education all played a part in Isbens story as if it were exact representations of society just beyond the doll house walls. As the reality of Nora's predicament was raised to the surface her inability to manage herself

"A Domestic Dilemma"

1956 words - 8 pages Ever since the Meadows family moved to New York from Alabama, something has been different. Martin would come home every night to the sight of his wife tippling around the house. Martin's wife, Emily had become an alcoholic. It was bad enough that Martin had to hire a house keeper to clean the house and look after their two children, Andy and Marianne. One night Emily had dropped Marianne on the corner of the table. It was not her

"Bitter Strength: A History of the Chinese in the United States"

1165 words - 5 pages Barth, Gunter Paul in his book "Bitter Strength: A History of the Chinese in the United States, 1850-1870" depicts the life of Chinese immigrants during the periods of 1850-1870. Barth portrays the experience that the Chinese went through at the Pearl River delta in China to get to the United States and there arrival here in California. Beginning in the mid-19th century, Chinese immigration to America was influenced by both the "pull" of

Effective Settings in "A Pair of Tickets"

1306 words - 5 pages Heritage is something very abstract and hard to understand which is similar to family root. By conveying the rich history and legacy to children through parents, but it seems not the effective way compared with their concerment. In the other way, they maybe almost completely ignorant of their heritage. That is the situation of Jing-Mei in "A Pair of tickets" by Amy Tan. Chinese settings that help Jing-Mei more understand and

Characterization of "Lysistrata"

834 words - 3 pages Lysistrata, first produced in 411 B.C. is a play that represents the frustrations that Athenian women faced due to the Peloponnesian War. Lysistrata, an Athenian woman is the play's heroine; her name is significant in itself, as it means "she who disbands the armies" (Page 467, footnote 2). With the aide of other Athenian women, Lysistrata organizes a "sex strike" in an effort to cease further violence and bring peace between Athens and Sparta

The "Patriot Act"

1269 words - 5 pages The September 11 terrorist attacks led to the Patriot Act, which was a law passed just six weeks after the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were hit. This Act was passed by the Senate the day before by a vote of 98-1. The Bush Administration considered this Act a form of "anti-terrorism weapon."* Despite his opinion many citizens consider this Act unconstitutional and a violation of our rights. In addition, some felt that their privacy

Analysis of Jack London's "To Build a Fire"

823 words - 3 pages In Jack London's "To Build a Fire" we see a classic story of man against nature. In this story, however, nature wins. One reason that this is such a compelling and engrossing story is the vivid descriptions of the environment the nameless main character endures. Plot and characterization are brief, and the theme is simple. Yet this story is still a very popular story, and it has a mysterious quality that makes it great. Jack London starts

Greg Crister's "Too Much of a Good Thing"

1288 words - 5 pages Critique of Greg Crister's "Too much of a Good Thing" Greg Crister, the author of the op-ed essay that was featured in the Los Angeles Times, "Too Much of a Good Thing," argues that in order to stop obesity, we should stigmatize overeating. Crister states that we should place shame on overeating due to the rising obesity epidemic that faces the world today. The U.N. proclaims that "obesity is a dominant unmet global health issue, with

Similar Essays

&Quot;Sylvia Plath Feminine Side Of The Feminist Icon&Quot;

2123 words - 8 pages her heart. Her desire was to be an ideal wife, lover, mother of his children. Critic Sheryl Meyering states that Sylvia Plath's intense desire to be accepted by men and to eventually marry and have children was purely a product of the constructive 1950's social mentality during which the author came to womanhood (xi). She was considered a feminist writer of great importance . In a book by Ellen Moers, the author of "Literary Women", writes

James Joyce's &Quot;The Dead&Quot; Essay

1339 words - 5 pages James Joyce's short story "The Dead" deals with the meaning of life. This title is significant and enhances several aspects of the story. First of all, it reveals that the characters are unable to be emotional. They are physically living but emotionally dead. Second of all, it contributes to the main subject of the story, Gabriel's epiphany. The title contributes to these aspects of the story by adding meaning and acting as a reminder of

A Summary Of &Quot;The Perils Of Obedience&Quot;

691 words - 3 pages In "The Perils of Obedience," Stanley Milgram conducted a study that tests the conflict between obedience to authority and one's own conscience. Through the experiments, Milgram discovered that the majority of people would go against their own decisions of right and wrong to appease the requests of an authority figure. The study was set up as a "blind experiment" to capture if and when a person will stop inflicting pain on another as they

A Structuralist View Of &Quot;Macbeth&Quot; Essay

3565 words - 14 pages In "The Structural Study of Myth" Claude Levi-Strauss explains that we can discover a myth's meaning by identifying and isolating what he calls mythemes. Like phonemes in language studies, mythemes are the constituent units of myths and they find meaning in and through their relationships within the mythic structure. The meaning of any individual myth, then, depends on the interaction and order of the mythemes within the story. Many critics