The Dead by James Joyce – Assignment Example

The paper "The Dead by James Joyce" is a wonderful example of an assignment on literature. It is clear Gabriel loves and feels compassion for his wife and wished he could offer her more than the empty life of boring social occasions that they live. It is quite remarkable that he doesn’t fly into a rage or become upset when Gretta tells the story of Michael Furey. He simply becomes sad. He tried to comfort her; this is a sign of his love, how understanding he is. He realizes that like himself, she too is haunted by the dead all around them. The emotions he begins to feel work to alter his perceptions of his marriage, his wife, and his own life. He becomes to understand how much more than he originally thought he is shaped by the dead. He begins to see what a small impression he has had on his own wife compared to the influence the man Michael Furey who died for her love did. Gabriel most powerfully considers this idea when he thinks to himself, “One by one they were all becoming shades. Better pass boldly into that other world, in the full glory of some passion, than fade and wither dismally with age”. This is part of a question have worked hard to answer for themselves for many years. Is it better to live a long, drawn out, passionless life or is it better to die in some magnificent act of courage? Religions have tried hard to answer this question in the past. Gabriel is faced with this difficult question when he pictures his Aunt Julia and Michael Furey. Michael died with passion while Gabriel’s Aunt Julia will eventually just slowly wither away, her life empty of meaning. Due to these two people, Gabriel has to seriously reconsider his own life and how he wants to lead it. The history of people who have passed before him have a big impact on how he will lead his own life—it just takes a while for him to realize it.