"One by one, we are
all becoming shades."
In groups of two or three, write answers
to the following questions:
For help, see the list of related links below.
What is the setting: time, place, exact place, and
Describe each of the following characters, giving their
relationships to one another and main qualities: Aunt Kate, Aunt Julia,
Lily, Gabriel, Gretta, and Miss Ivors.
Joyce spends a great deal of time and energy on the
party and its guests. Discuss the party in several ways: 1. Comment on
the imagery and verisimilitude of the scene. 2. Discuss the interplay
between the guests. What are some of the main topics/ideas here? 3.
Discuss Gabriel's speech. What's he talking about?
What is the tone at the beginning
of the story? How is it created? Give specific words, lines etc. What is
the tone at the end of the story? Where and why does it change?
If conflict is two forces in opposition, does Gabriel
experience a conflict? What does he want and what/who is keeping him
from getting it? Is this an internal or external conflict (or both)?
Is Gabriel a developing character? What does he learn?
Joyce would call Gabriel's moment of recognition an
epiphany. Reword your answer to be universal and to serve as a theme for the
Was Lily raped or used for ill by a man? Support your
answer. What has the inclusion of Lily's troubles got to do with the
rest of the story? Also, think about what Lily's name might mean
What part does Gabriel's interaction with Lily, early in
the story, play in the development of theme?
The story of Michael Furey seems to be the climax of the
story. Do you agree or disagree? Explain. (You need to connect to the
main conflict: see Gabriel's conflict).
The last paragraph of the story is one of the most
famous passages in all of English literature. What is Joyce saying?
- country vs continent
- simple vs sophisticated
- carpe diem
Notes/References/Allusions by Wallace Gray
Politics of Ireland in The Dead
Biography of the author