She thinks he died for her. Gretta sobs, and falls asleep. He lies on the bed beside her as she sleeps. He thinks about how, for so many years, she has kept in her heart the memory of Michael Furey.
The Women in James Joyce's "The Dead" and in John Huston's filmic adaption
Gabriel realizes for the first time that he is not the only one she has loved. She has been occupied with her thoughts of this boy and herself when they were young: Gabriel is devastated at not being able to make love with her, and horribly jealous. He thinks that Michael Furey was capable of more love than he has been and that maybe it would be better to die, like the young boy, in a passion that completely occupied his being.
Around the time that Joyce published his story, Viktor Shklovsky was working on how artistic literature can make the ordinary strange, as if seen for the first time. Many of us may have experienced jealousy. Perhaps it was a twinge, perhaps a wave of anxiety, perhaps anger, perhaps a long dull pain.
At the same time, Joyce generates further ostranenie by using metaphor and metonymy. As Roman Jakobson pointed out, these literary figures are not just figures. They are fundamental ways in which the mind works and they are also parts of what can enable the experience of reading to come alive.
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Although Lakoff and Johnson have argued that metaphor is an intrinsic part of all of our thinking, it is usually regarded as literary. According to Steven Mithen, minds can work in a metaphorical way not only in literature; rather, metaphor is the basis of all art. The earliest known cave painting is only 31, years old see Chauvet et al. To be able to produce and understand art based on imagination, in this kind of metaphorical transformation, is among our most recently acquired mental capacities. When this happens, it makes for a sense of mental intimacy between reader and writer.
The best-known kind of metonymy is synecdoche, in which a part stands for a whole, or a small part for a larger part.
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For instance, a close-up of a face in a film can stand in for the person. Like metaphor, metonymy is not just a figure. It, too, shows something important about how the mind works. When the couple reaches the hotel there is another metonymic synecdoche when Gabriel, as he longs to make love with Gretta, catches sight of himself in a mirror: not a romantic figure. This can resonate with associations in readers, who may be prompted to think about how they look in the mirror of their social world and how they like to see themselves.
Metaphor offers part of the explanation of how we become involved in a story by entering, Alice-like, through a looking glass. As we enter a story, it is common for readers to identify with a character. Keith Oatley: Such stuff as dreams. The mental processes we employ include those by which we make plans to organize our daily lives but, instead of using these planning processes for our own purposes, we allow them to be taken up by the purposes and aspirations of a story character.
When we pick up a book and start engaging with plans of the protagonist, we put our own issues on one side rather as someone who, before beginning a session of meditation, puts aside current preoccupations.
Fear in James Joyce's Eveline from Dubliners Essay - Words | Cram
Here is the extraordinary part: the emotions we then feel as we read are not really those of Gabriel an imagined being. They are our own. An important study on how this works was by Tom Trabasso and Jennifer Chung. They found that when we enter a story and things go well for a protagonist whom we come to like, we feel empathy for that character and experience positive emotions: happiness, satisfaction, relief and so on.
When things go badly for the protagonist, or well for an antagonist in a story, we tend to feel negative emotions: sadness, anxiety, frustration, and so forth. This, you may say, is not too different from watching sports. When your team is winning you feel good. When the other side is winning you feel bad. This is because a football match or an Olympic competition offers a basic kind of plan-based story; we can jump aboard and enjoy it. We can experience the emotions of success or failure, but without the events making a difference to whether we can pay the rent, or to whether someone we love might be seriously ill.
In literature, the stories in which we can engage are more various. The characters we can become in fiction are many more than we can be in sports events, many more than we could ever be, or ever meet, in ordinary life. By entering some of the novels and short stories that have been written, and the movies that have been made, we can live many lives; the plans we can adopt and the predicaments we can experience are innumerable.
Most stories have a narrative arc: an initiating event that introduces a protagonist who has a goal and a plan that encounters a vicissitude. There is a rising action, a climax, and a denouement. She was referring to the coming of modernism, which we can think of as the art of inwardness. With this story of , Joyce was an early contributor. We are introduced to a character, Gabriel, in an inward way by his thoughts about himself and his experience being gradually revealed to us until we reach a psychological climax, one that opens him to us, to show both the complexity and limitations of his person and, by the generalization of a metonymic figure, of all of us.
A psychological question for any story is how it invites a reader into its world. Joyce does it by dropping hints and by inviting the reader to think. When the story begins we hear of Miss Kate and Miss Julia, but we have no idea how to imagine them. Are they young, old, sisters, friends? Joyce keeps us wondering for a while. How can we construct the scene with which we are presented, with guests arriving, and with Miss Kate and Miss Julia at the top of a staircase?
At the beginning of his story, Joyce refers to characters who are only later positioned in relation to the others.
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Someone called Gabriel is mentioned in the third paragraph. Only later do we find out who he is and what he looks like. Although sometimes thinking can be arduous, with a good writer of fiction, it is a delight, in part because the writer offers materials that enable the thinking to occur in a satisfying way.
Once Joyce has invited us to become engaged, he eases us into the process of coming to understand Gabriel. To be pleased about their success, you need to know them quite well, and to like them. The first significant event occurs as Lily takes his coat when he arrives at the house. Gabriel has known Lily since she was a child. He speaks to her pleasantly. He asks whether she might soon be getting married.
Fear in James Joyce's Eveline from Dubliners Essay
She replies bitterly that men are interested in her only for what they can get. He colors. He feels he has made a mistake. He flicks at his shoes with his muffler. He leaves Lily a coin, then dashes up the stairs. We empathize with him and enter his mind. Joyce goes along with us as we puzzle. He says that Gabriel feels he has failed with Lily.
He says Gabriel adjusts his clothing: we infer this is to help dispel his anxiety. Joyce also offers a generalization. Gabriel worries that he will fail in the speech he must give in thanks to his aunts and cousin, just as he has failed with Lily. Several elements in the story make sense because they help the reader to understand Gabriel. In the same way we read about his love for the physicality of books.