The Dead James Joyce Analysis

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The Dead is a short story written by James Joyce and published in a book called Dubliners. Dubliners is a collection of fifteen short stories, first published in 1914.
James Joyce is an Irish novelist, short story writer, and poet. He was born in 1882 into a middle-class family in Dublin and despite have an alcoholic father with unpredictable spending habits, he was able to excel in school and go on to use his hometown and background to create exceptional works of art.
Dubliners is a naturalistic depiction of middle-class life in Ireland in the early 20th century. Joyce uses no real consistency or theme throughout this collection of short stories except for his revolutionary style of starting a story with a conflict and refusing to include a resolution. Joyce’s structure of the short stories in Dubliners defies the traditional storyline format of Freytag’s pyramid structure, it challenges the concept of beginning, middle and end often leaving the readers with a lack of closure. In ‘The Dead’ we see Joyce implement themes of paralysis, self-realization, and mortality and yet again refuses to give his audience a conclusion of substance.

Mortality is first made apparent with the title of the piece, ‘the dead’. It immediately gives you an expectation that the novella will be focused around the death of a person. However, as you read the story you come to realize that the title is merely symbolism for the stagnant beliefs of many of the stories characters. We first
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