Gabriel Conroy starts out as a rather superficial man. He cares more about appearing charming and intelligent than actually being so. His relationship with his wife, Gretta, lacks much as well. He is largely concerned with making sure they have sex when they come back from the party. He is disappointed when his wife is too crestfallen to want to engage with him physically.
Gabriel's big change happens when Gretta tells him about her first love, Michael, who died young but whom she never forgot or stopped loving. Gabriel realizes that even though he seems to have accomplished much, and even though Michael is long dead, he cannot compete with Gretta's earlier love, because he has never genuinely loved anyone else. When he dies, no one will remember him. This realization causes Gabriel to reassess his behavior and attitude about life. Though we don't know what he will do after this epiphany, one is left with the idea that he will change his ways.
Gabriel Conroy starts out smug,...
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