In The Dead by James Joyce, is there anything ironic about the substance of Gabriel's speech?

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Gabriel's speech in "The Dead" is full of irony and foreshadowing. The irony is primarily dramatic irony, which occurs when the reader knows something that the character doesn't. At this point in the story, readers haven't come to fully appreciate Gabriel's character flaws, but by the end of the story, they can look back to this speech and realize that his remarks reflected more on his personal situation than he comprehended.

It turns out that the words Gabriel uses in the speech to bemoan the shortcomings of "this new generation" describe his own flaws. He states,

I fear that this new generation, educated or hypereducated as it is, will lack those qualities of humanity, of hospitality, of kindly humour which belonged to an older day.

He urges his readers to

cherish in our hearts the memory of those dead and gone great ones whose fame the world will not willingly let die.

He then references the "sadder thoughts" of the past and "absent faces" that people are bound to miss, but he insists it is...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 814 words.)

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