Rhetorical Analysis: “the Dead”

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Rhetorical Analysis: “The Dead” In The Dead, James Joyce characterizes the protagonist, Gabriel, as an insecure man who is lost in his own world. The images of Gabriel’s “curious eyes” traveling around the room and his thoughts about the past, present and future events capture Gabriel uncertainty on the events that occurred on that night. James Joyce uses a variety of techniques to bring out Gabriel’s unsteady state of mind. He illustrates Gabriel’s scrambled mentality and low self-image, through the use of vivid imagery, dark diction and an omniscient point of view. The passage begins with a series of graphic images of Gabriel carefully watching his wife sleeping. Gabriel sets his "curious eyes” on his wife’s face, eyes that trigger a dark emotional thought of “strange pity that entered his soul” for his wife, and how she has lost her youthful beauty. This is where he slips into a scrambled mentality and goes off thinking about his wife, and how she may not be as beautiful as she was before Michael Furey braved death for her. But he quickly excuses his thoughts by saying, “perhaps she had not told him the whole story”. This action signifies that he is insecure about the topic of his wife and her former love and tried to justify his self esteem by thinking she is keeping the whole story from him. He continues to unfold himself when his “eyes” scan the room and land on his wife "petticoat" and '"limped boots." He then channels to a different thought and begins to observe the mess on the floor, which only leads him to think more about his present situation. The switching to different things continues as a distraction from his wife and her past. With the intense omniscience of third person narrator, James Joyce was able to enhance what Gabriel’s state of mind was. Gabriel's inner consciousness suggests that he is questioning his own character and even his

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