The Dead Questions and Answers
by James Joyce

The Dead book cover
Start Your Free Trial

How does Gabriel Conroy transform throughout "The Dead"? 

Expert Answers info

Dolly Doyle eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseLibrarian


calendarEducator since 2018

write1,272 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Arts

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.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2016

write11,074 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

Gabriel Conroy starts out smug,...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 634 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

accessteacher eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write13,728 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

check Approved by eNotes Editorial