Separation And Euphemism In James Joyce's The Dead

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Amongst James Joyce’s illustrious words in “The Dead”, Gabriel acquires a self realization about the life and marriage he partakes in. Gabriel, who felt distance between the place he had lived, Dublin, as well as distance in his marriage, still managed to enclose himself securely in both and was not leaving permanently anytime soon. Separation became apparent in Joyce’s form of a euphemism, while depicting his wife, whom he did not recognize at first as a painting Gabriel would name, “Distant Music” (182). Music and hymns throughout the short story, in which Gabriel felt little connection with, symbolize the separation and distance Gabriel kept with the world he enclosed himself in. Words used, define the knowledge Gabriel obtained regarding the beauty of his wife, however, he never learned her secret past with the boy she gave her heart to. Prior to the epiphany Gabriel obtained, he strongly desired his wife, considering their passionate “moments of ecstasy (186). Perhaps this feeling of ecstasy and lust is all they ever acquired. Behold, one of the scariest epiphanies one can have in a marriage, “[h]e had never felt like that himself towards any woman but he knew that such a feeling must be love” (Joyce, 194), there is mutual love, his wife holds someone else in her heart and he plainly only has love for himself. This complicated epiphany embedded in the hotels dim property, with no chattel from Gabriel, left him pondering his lack of love. Strict feelings of lust are
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