The Character of Gabriel in the Short Story, The Dead

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The elements of a short stories are expressed the Gabriel, the protagonist, in the short story The Dead. I had my own opinions of Gabriel’s character. However, my group members provide me with their insight that exposed what I overlooked. I was also unaware of how the settings depicted Gabriel’s emotions. Now I also see the presence of conflict in the story. The group members have enriched my understanding of several elements of a short story, including characterization, setting, and conflict. I have contrasted my ideas with those of my group members.

The character of Gabriel was seen differently through the eyes of the other group members. This became apparent when discussing a line form Gabriel’s speech at dinner: “ ‘It has fallen to my lot this evening, as in years past, to perform a very pleasing task for which I am afraid my poor powers as a speaker are all too inadequate’ ” (Joyce pg. 12) One of my group members, Rashmi, seemed to think Gabriel was simply being modest and polite. I however find his statement to be pompous and arrogant. It is quite obvious he thinks rather highly of himself. He knows he is smarter than his audience. He wants them to think that he is so humble when he is actually the opposite. Her perspective makes me contemplate whether Gabriel was ever considerate of others. Did he really care about their feelings? Is that why he made the statement? Some of my group members also had different opinions on Gabriel at the end of the story. Shanusa had said that Gabriel and Gretta would feel further apart and would only keep their relationship going for the sake of their children. On the contrary, I believe Gabriel would make a tremendous effort to salvage their relationship. He would strive to be like Michael and make her happy. He would not give up. Although Shanusa’s suggestion leads me to the conclusion that Gretta will feel farther apart from Gabriel. Now that Gabriel knows about Michael, Gretta doesn’t have to pretend and hide her...
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