Faculdade de Letras

Literatura Inglesa IV

Aluna: Tatiana M. de Mesquita


                                           Summary of the class 12


This class was an analysis of the short story The Dead by James Joyce.

In the first three pages we have a lot of information about the story. First the author talks about the characters. The story happens during a Christmas party given by three old ladies.

On page 2009, we have the first mention of the weather, such as: “...a light fringe of snow lay like a cape...a cold fragrant air from out-of-doors escaped from crevices and folds.

Also in this page we have the dialogue between Lily and Gabriel. He asks her about her boyfriend and she says he had died. Gabriel feels uncomfortable about having his speech, because of Lily’s answer. He doesn’t consider himself superior but different from the others. Then on this page we have a gentle description of the old ladies and the first description of Gretta( Gabriel’s wife).

Throughout the narrative we can notice that the story goes very slowly. Everything is slow as the old ladies. This new characteristic breaks with the idea of action, very common at that time.

On page 2011, we can observe the little game between Gabriel and Gretta about the galoshes. Everybody  is talking about galoshes and aunt Julia( one of the old ladies) asks Gabriel what galoshes were, and everybody laughs.

The narrator of this story is like a camera that follows Gabriel wherever he goes. It means that this narrator isn’t an omniscient narrator.

On page 2012, Mr. And Mrs Browne arrive. Mr. Browne is very funny, he likes to make jokes and also likes to drink whisky, such as:


“...Mr. Browne took another sip of his whisky and said, with sidling mimicry: - Well, you see, I’m like the famous Mrs. Cassidy, who is reported to have said: Now, Mary Grimes, if I don’t take it, make me take it, for I feel I want it...”


In the last paragraph of this page, the author deals with political issues but in a suitable way, in the fragment above, Mr. Browne showed a very low Dublin accent and the young ladies near him received his speech in silent, showing prejudice against him.

On page 2013, the people that are in the party start to dance quadrilles.

While Mary Jane is playing piano, Gabriel starts to remember his mother, who disapproved Gretta as his wife. When Gabriel realizes that he was “traveling in his memories” he tries to pay attention in Mary playing piano. At this point the author begins to show the issue of consciousness, later developed by Virginia Woolf.

On page 2015,Gabriel and Miss Ivors start to dance Lancers and he feels  very uncomfortable because she started to accusing him of being on the English side because he writes for a newspaper, which is pro-English. She puts him in a difficult situation. And after the dance he goes away to a remote corner of the room near an old woman.

On page 2018, Gabriel begins to think in his speech again.

On the following page the author shows the prejudice against church, such as:


”...I know all about the honor of God, Mary Jane, but I think it’s not at all honorable for the pope to turn out the women out of the choirs that have slaved there all their lives and put little whipper-mappers of boys over their heads...”


On page 2021, we have another silence showing the prejudice, such as: “...Is it because he’s only a black? Nobody answered this question...”

On page 2024, Gabriel reflects about life and about dead people in the Christmas time. On this page we also have a criticism of the radicalism.

In the end of he story Gabriel understands Lily’s pain, whose boyfriend died for her. Gabriel also understands that’s “...better pass boldly into that world, in the full glory of some passion, than fade and wither dismally with age...”