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What is the difference between the living and the dead Is simply walking breathingand going through the motions of a living being applicable enough for one to be calledalive or are such unemotional detached actions more appropriate for the dead JamesJoyce deals with such questions in the novella The Dead as he portrays a story of theliving dead in which the antagonist Gabriel comes to the realization of his falseattempts at full livelihood Through Gabriel Joyce illuminates the struggles and tensionsthat live within the human spirit as he brings about this central theme As Gabriel attendsMisses Morkans annual dance the full force of Gabriels incomplete knowledge ofhimself his country and his wife are illuminated This lack of self becomes obvious toGabriel as he reaches his epiphany towards the end of the story As Gabriel is first introduced he is shown interacting with a symbol of the living dead-- Lily Lily the caretakers daughter is described as having a pale complexionJoyce327 implying a deathly state and her name no less is of the flower that is commonlysymbolic of a funeral In addition to discovering that Lily is no longer in school Gabrieldiscovers that Lily has no intentions of marrying and for that matter no intentions offurthering her life Hence she will always be nothing more than the caretakersdaughter As Lilys tone grew bitter as a result of Gabriels prying questions Gabriel coloured 328 as he was embarrassed the he had insulted her Gabriel realized bothhis failure to appear perfectly agreeable and the possibility of being inclusive amongthose men that Lily denounced -- those men she would not marry who were of allpalaver and what they can get out of you 328 This remark triggered an uneasyrealization in Gabriel in that it dawned on him that he too was a man of all palaver andno action with intentions that were not always as they seemed As Gabriel was a man
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