In “The Dead,” at which points do doubts arise about the adequacy of Gabriel Conroy's perspective?

In “The Dead,” doubts arise about the adequacy of Gabriel’s perspective when Miss Ivors challenges his loyalty to Ireland and when Gretta tells him about Michael Furey.

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Doubts arise about the adequacy of Gabriel’s perspective when Gabriel dances with Miss Ivors. During this scene, Ivors says Gabriel should be “ashamed” for contributing to an English paper called The Daily Express. Ivors calls Gabriel a “West Briton” and implies, with a mix of sarcasm and seriousness, that he’s betraying his Irish heritage by writing book reviews for a British publication.

Ivors’s words flummox Gabriel. The narrator describes Gabriel as “blinking his eyes and trying to smile.” Two paragraphs later, there’s a “look of perplexity” on his face. His doubt expands when Ivors invites him to visit her. Gabriel turns down her offer. He tells her that he already has plans to visit other European countries. Their back-and-forth captures the attention of the other guests, which brings further nervousness to Gabriel. He even starts to blush.

Indeed, the interaction between Ivors and Gabriel indicates that he is not substantially comfortable defending his politics or cultural associations. There is an uncertainty that renders him unable to firmly answer Ivors’s charges.

Another point in the story in which doubts arise concerns Michael Furey. When Gretta tells Gabriel about her past love, Gabriel becomes unsettled and starts to doubt the extent of the love that they have for one another.

After making an ironic quip about Michael, Gabriel feels “humiliated.” When Gretta tells Gabriel that Michael died for her, a “vague terror seized” him. These feelings suggest that Gabriel is unsure about how to react to Gretta and Michael’s relationship. He’s also not sure about the state of his marriage.

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