Analysis Essay of James Joyce's "The Dead"

Aug 3rd, 2016
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ENG 221: writing and literature. Essay analyzing the main character's need for control

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On a cold snowy night in winter, at their annual dinner party, Aunt Kate and AuntJulia eagerly await the arrival of one particular guest. Often calling to Lily, one of thehouse servants, to inquire if he has arrived yet, each time the door opens they run to theedge of the banister to see if it is him. As Gabriel Conroy finally makes his entrance intothe hallway, he is immediately the center of the womens attention, which as it turns out,is exactly how he needs his life to be. At first glance one would think of him as anupstanding gentleman, but throughout James Joyces short story, The Dead, the readerstarts to see Gabriel in a different light. As Joyce moves the story forward, Gabriel isshown as a person who is in constant need of being in control. His obsession aboutcontrolling everything and everyone is an attempt to hide his true identity. Gabriel useshis controlling personality to hide his own insecurities about himself as a valuable humanbeing.As soon as Gabriel enters the party, the reader sees his controlling behavior takeover. Throughout the story, Gabriel tries to present himself as a man of authority. Forexample, at the beginning of the party, Aunt Kate asks him to watch over Freddy Malins,the drunk, and make sure he does not ruin the party. By looking after Freddy, Gabrielfeels that he is in control of the situation, and that it is up to him to make sure Freddydoes not ruin the party. After he descended down the stairs to look aft

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