James Joyce

The Dead

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The story mirrors the tension in early 20th Century Ireland in a poetic narrative that echoes in a haunting and melodic way the melancholy of life and death. The story centers on Gabriel Conroy, a university professor, on the night of the Morkan sisters' annual dance and dinner in the first week of January 1904, a celebration of the Feast of the Epiphany. Gabriel, favorite nephew of the sisters, arrives late to the party with his wife Gretta, where he is enthusiastically received. Gabriel has doubts about the speech he is to give, especially that it contains too many academic references for his listeners. He is confronted by Miss Ivors, an Irish nationalist, about his publishing a weekly literary column in a newspaper with unionist sympathies, and she teases him as a "West Briton," that is, a supporter of English political control of Ireland…
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