What is the main theme of "The Dead"? Is there any similarity to "Araby"?
All of the stories in Dubliners share a dominant theme: the cultural and intellectual paralysis of contemporary Ireland. In "Araby" a young boy wishes to escape from his crushingly drab, unstable home life to enter into a world of fantasy and excitement at a bazaar. But when he gets there he finds that the place is closing down, and so he's unable to buy a gift for Mangan's sister, a girl he's fallen for in a big way.
The boy has been brought back down to reality with an almighty bump. He now has no choice but to return to the shabby, genteel part of Dublin he has the gross misfortune to inhabit. North Richmond Street, where he lives, symbolizes a country in terminal decline, unable and unwilling to throw off the shackles of its colonial past and present and take its place among the nations of Europe. In the national mythos they've invented for themselves, the Irish are retreating into a similar world of fantasy to the boy, a world of Gaelic revivalism. The difference is that such cultural...
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