- Количество слайдов: 18
“The Dead” (2) 30 March 2009
Structure • Three parts: • 1) expectancy • 2) catalogue of superficial socialities
Structure (2) • 3) events following the party: it takes us beyond the realm of realism (Kenneth Burke); it ironically explores the implications of Gabriel’s statement in 2): “How cool it must be outside! How pleasant it would be to walk out alone, first along by the river and then through the park! The snow would be lying on the branches of the trees and forming a bright cap on the top of the Wellington Monument. How much more pleasant it would be there than at the supper-table! “. It focuses on Gretta and Gabriel and then on Gabriel
Structure (3) • Not entirely separate blocs. Death appears in 1) and 2): "I'll engage they did, " said Gabriel, "but they forget that my wife here takes three mortal hours to dress herself. “ (22); Romeo and Juliet; Richard III (30); the monks (41 -42) • Symbolism emerging out of realism: the story of the horse (46 -47)
Structure • Circular structure: from the title “The Dead” to the last word: “the dead”. • Two main interpretations: 1) Gabriel learns something that helps him to develop; 2) he is destroyed; he undergoes something like death, from which there can be no adequate recovery. • What is the experience of the reader?
Interpretations • The story’s language and its structure contain heterogeneous elements whose double antithetical character resists being resolved into a single reading / interpretation • “The Dead” is and is not realistic. • Repetitions (repeated references to the snow, repeated uncanny encounters with women; mechanical repetitions disturb the realistic illusion; self-referential language)
Double vision • Narrator’s use of free indirect discourse (report of the character’s thoughts in the third person and past tense, using words and phrases that seem at time to originate with the character in the present time of the action)
• He then took from his waistcoat pocket a little paper and glanced at the headings he had made for his speech. He was undecided about the lines from Robert Browning, for he feared they would be above the heads of his hearers. Some quotation that they would recognise from Shakespeare or from the Melodies would be better. The indelicate clacking of the men's heels and the shuffling of their soles reminded him that their grade of culture differed from his. He would only make himself ridiculous by quoting poetry to them which they could not understand. They would think that he was airing his superior education. He would fail with them just as he had failed with the girl in the pantry. He had taken up a wrong tone. His whole speech was a mistake from first to last, an utter failure (24).
Free indirect speech • Gabriel's warm trembling fingers tapped the cold pane of the window. How cool it must be outside! How pleasant it would be to walk out alone, first along by the river and then through the park! The snow would be lying on the branches of the trees and forming a bright cap on the top of the Wellington Monument. How much more pleasant it would be there than at the supper-table! (34)
Death • We are invited to stand in two places at once: the recipient of what may be the character’s private language, addressed only to himself; the recipient of the narrator’s public language, addressed to us. • The snow that falls through the universe is not a ‘literal’ snow. How can it be heard? • The dead: not just the dead, but Gabriel and all the other characters who are presented as literally alive but who can be said to be figuratively dead. Nature morte.
Chiasmus • falling softly upon the Bog of Allen and, farther westward, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. …His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead. • faintly: not just the snow’s attribute, but the way he perceives the snow is falling; “swooning” is a falling into a faint (svenire), movement from the top to the bottom, a descent, like the snow. The merging of subject and object.
Repetitions (2) • The party, Lily, the after-dinner speech, etc. • Gabriel and Gretta: exact repetition, unchanged by the passage of time, is impossible because the original to be repeated (i. e. , love) never existed
Feminist reading • Two texts (Margot Norris): a “loud” male narration challenged and disrupted by a “silent” or discounted female countertext that does not succed in making itself heard entirely. • “back answer”: disallowed but disrupting: “The men that is now is only all palaver…” (23); “there is a nice husband for you (34); “And if I were in Julia’s place” (37)
The Critical Molly • Ungenerous, graceless, critical; the uncomfortable position of the female reader: spoiling the highly aestheticised story, by mentioning politics? Is art above and beyond politics?
The Aestheticised Gretta • Pygmalion myth • Dull existence • “The next thing he’ll buy me a diving suit” (25) • “You can go if you like, said Gabriel coldly” (33) • Buried memories are triggered by the “feminist” Molly.
The Silenced Julia • Woman’s exclusion from the realm of art (Pope Pius X, 1903) • The party will not discuss the black singer (practices of art are exclusionary: this is hinted at but never developed, almost silenced, in the margins)
Other women • Mary Jane: internalising her oppression, attenuated younger version of her aunts, also stifled by her aunts. • “The Dead” constructs position for its readers: a) pleased passivity of Mrs Malins; b) abdicate as critics (Mary Jane); c) disruptive, challenging, critical, activist (Molly Ivors), but risk losing the patina of intellectual graciousness Gabriel praises so warmly.
End • • Generous tears filled Gabriel's eyes. He had never felt like that himself towards any woman, but he knew that such a feeling must be love. The tears gathered more thickly in his eyes and in the partial darkness he imagined he saw the form of a young man standing under a dripping tree. Other forms were near. His soul had approached that region where dwell the vast hosts of the dead. He was conscious of, but could not apprehend, their wayward and flickering existence. His own identity was fading out into a grey impalpable world: the solid world itself, which these dead had one time reared and lived in, was dissolving and dwindling. A few light taps upon the pane made him turn to the window. It had begun to snow again. He watched sleepily the flakes, silver and dark, falling obliquely against the lamplight. The time had come for him to set out on his journey westward. Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills, falling softly upon the Bog of Allen and, farther westward, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. It was falling, too, upon every part of the lonely churchyard on the hill where Michael Furey lay buried. It lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and headstones, on the spears of the little gate, on the barren thorns. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead. (59)