The Dubliners - Focusing on ' the Dead'

Topics: Dubliners, Death, Life Pages: 5 (1681 words) Published: July 9, 2008
The Dubliners – Focusing on ‘ The Dead ‘

Good morning, today I will be talking about the story ‘ The Dead’ found in the book ‘ The Dubliners’ . In ‘ The Dead’ , there are recurring reference of snow , and I will be focusing on the significance and symbolism of the snow in the story.

First off, we can already see the importance of snow even right at the beginning, at the title of the story.As we all know, snow only appears during winter, and winter, in the literature world, is the season of death, where everything is motionless and lifeless. So snow, it creates the whole winter atmosphere , giving the story already a negative light, connecting to the title ‘ The Dead’ , and bringing out one of the important themes of the story, which is life and death.

In the story, a lot of negative imageries of death are put forward, such as _________________________________(quote)________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________. This reinforces the idea of death and puts forward the negative tone in the story.

In ‘ The Dead’ there are many references of snow , the imagery of snow keeps appearing, it starts off with only a small patch (quote), till it slowly spreads and in the end , it became so big that it ends with ‘ snow covering the whole of Ireland’. I think that the accumulation of snow has several symbolism and several meanings. The small patch of snow at the beginning represents the inner doubts and misunderstanding that Gabriel has always had for his wife , Gretta. . Because it’s during the Christmas dinner time, after the meal did Gabriel find out about his wife Gretta’s past, about Gretta’s old love for Michael Furey. Although that man, Michael Furey’s dead already, his image insides Gretta, is still of this young energetic man, fiery and passionate. Say if Michael’s still alive , Gabriel might react differently. However, in the story, Michael Furey’s dead, and Gabriel cannot compete for the love of Gretta with a dead man, so actually there’s nothing he can do. There are many signs of his negative feelings shown towards Michael Furey , like (blue tag) and probably jealousy, along with hatred and anger, (blue tag ) , towards his wife, he cannot really express it, because there’s no point in bringing up the topic of a dead person, and as shown previously, he always thinks that he’s of better kind, like during the speech during dinner, he thinks that his speech is so good that no one will understand, so he never really expresses himself fully, hence as all these feelings accumulate, like the snow accumulating. And also, as the Furey represents fire and passion, he’s dead, and after his discovery, Gabriel kept thinking about him, references such as ‘ the snow falling on Furey’s tomb’, snow, the representation of lifelessness, death and being very dismal accumulates even more in Gabriel. As we know that snow in the story started off wit only a small patch, it gradually grows till towards the end of the story, it covers the whole of Ireland, it implies that the feeling, the jealousy, his revelation about the fact that his wife’s still in love with a dead man, becomes so overwhelming that it builds up more and more, until it becomes so overwhelming that it covers the whole of his heart, just like it covers the whole of Ireland, a huge outburst of emitons, where he cannot escape from it anymore, the heaviness and cold feeling that he felt all long became really conscious to him, and it covers the whole of him, pulling him down.

And also, we know that Gabriel and Gretta never did share a very close relationship, it seems like he has always misinterpreted her essence all through the marriage, and even if they did share a close relationship before, it has definitely died down, like the snow cooling and...
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