Interestingly, the names of Joyce's main character in his story, "The Dead," contrasts greatly with the name of his wife's first love. As biblical names of two archangels, Gabriel was the more passive, a messenger for God, while the archangel Michael was a warrior. Even the last name of the boy who loved Gretta, Furey, denotes passion.
Throughout the narrative, Gabriel is meek and passive. For instance, he merely smiles at the manner in which Lily, the caretaker's daughter, pronounces his last name with three syllables, and when he arouses her ire, he gives her money rather than trying to appease her with a more personal method. Certainly, he is intimidated by the accusations of Molly Ivor that he is a West Briton who is sympathetic to the British rule and fears "risking a grandiose phrase with her" when most Irishmen would react passionately, rather than so passively, to such an argumentative statement.
In his relationship with Gretta, Gabriel clearly differs from Michael...
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