Most of what we learn about Gabriel Conroy comes from his thoughts. Specifically, his daydreams are telling in regards to his character.
At one point during the party, Gabriel retreats to the window, places his fingers on the pane, and yearns to be outside. He is conscious of his preference for being somewhere else and he wishes to be released from the various pressures and oppressions of the party.
Early on he reflects on the speech he is to give, worrying that he will fail everyone by aiming too high with a particular quotation.His lack of confidence is not, however, paralleled by a lack of pride.
He believes that if he quotes poetry by Robert Browning in his dinner speech, his audience will not understand his ‘‘superior education.’’
Gabriel holds himself in a certain, rather high regard.