When describing his intentions in writing Dubliners, Joyce said that the city of Dublin seemed to him the center of paralysis. By paralysis Joyce meant the inability to act, move, or grow beyond where one is spiritually and emotionally—the inability to live fully. In ‘‘The Dead,’’ Gabriel is paralyzed by his self-consciousness. He is self-conscious about Lily's bitter remarks on marriage and about what he should say in his after-dinner speech. When Miss Ivors accuses him of being loyal to the British, he tries to avoid confrontation. He doesn't...
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