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Images in James Joyce´s The Dead - An investigation of snow, music and death
2001 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year))Student thesis
Abstract [en]

In this the last story of Dubliners the characters, the living and the dead, are presented with a gentle indulgence and sympathy. Despite the sympathy in which the characters are presented, it seems to be a certain air of criticism towards them, and towards Irish features that are dealt with in ”The Dead”. There are also a frequent use of specific images in the story such as snow, music and death. These images are so significant that they seem to serve as symbols. The images allow no easy interpretation, and thus the symbols, it that is what the images are, seem difficult to establish. However, I will regard the images as symbols. They seem to represent a complex set of ideas of society and its lost individuals. The intention is to explore the images of snow, music and death and investigate if there is a possible connection between the symbols and the sympathy and the criticism felt in the story. The snow seems to som extent be associated with Gabriel, and emphasizes his alienation from Irish traits, and his difficulties in bringing women nearer, and paradoxically, the tendency to dissociate himself from them. The music is constantly present in ”The Dead”. It is played, sung, danced and listened to, and commented on, but songs are heard from a distance, a voice which slowly fades away. all the same, the songs are still present from the beginning to near the end. What is shown both in Gabriel’s reluctance to all Irish, and the dismissal of Irish performance, but a slight criticism of lack of culture can be detected as well as the title of the short story suggests that the ancient Ireland and her inhabitants are dead, or living dead, but there is a glorification of the past, and perhaps an acceptance of the past that tends to be slightly exaggerated and which prevent the characters to live in the present.

Abstract [en]

In this the last story of Dubliners the characters, the living and the dead, are presented with a gentle indulgence and sympathy. Despite the sympathy in which the characters are presented, it seems to be a certain air of criticism towards them, and towards Irish features that are dealt with in ”The Dead”. There are also a frequent use of specific images in the story such as snow, music and death. These images are so significant that they seem to serve as symbols. The images allow no easy interpretation, and thus the symbols, it that is what the images are, seem difficult to establish. However, I will regard the images as symbols. They seem to represent a complex set of ideas of society and its lost individuals. The intention is to explore the images of snow, music and death and investigate if there is a possible connection between the symbols and the sympathy and the criticism felt in the story. The snow seems to som extent be associated with Gabriel, and emphasizes his alienation from Irish traits, and his difficulties in bringing women nearer, and paradoxically, the tendency to dissociate himself from them. The music is constantly present in ”The Dead”. It is played, sung, danced and listened to, and commented on, but songs are heard from a distance, a voice which slowly fades away. all the same, the songs are still present from the beginning to near the end. What is shown both in Gabriel’s reluctance to all Irish, and the dismissal of Irish performance, but a slight criticism of lack of culture can be detected as well as the title of the short story suggests that the ancient Ireland and her inhabitants are dead, or living dead, but there is a glorification of the past, and perhaps an acceptance of the past that tends to be slightly exaggerated and which prevent the characters to live in the present.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2001. , 23 p.
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-53853Local ID: ENG D-10OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-53853DiVA: diva2:1102413
Subject / course
English
Available from: 2017-05-29 Created: 2017-05-29

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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
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Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
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