Tamara (tamartini) wrote,

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The Dead

I had to read a story in English today that I really never wanted to read again. Its a short story by James Joyce called "The Dead". I read it on my own once after a discussion with Patrick on how much i disliked James Joyce and his work, and he suggested that I read "The Dead" and maybe it would change my mind. Well, I'm not one to just blow off things entirely, so I took his suggestion and read it. The majority of the story wasn't too bad, nothing exciting really. It was well written and representative of its time, but its the last 2 pages or so that really just came as a blow to me. The stories main characters name is Gabe is at a party with his wife Gretta. While they were at the party he sees his wife above on the staircase kind of spaced off. She is listening to a tenor sing a very beautiful song. While he is watching her listens, he realizes how beautiful she is. He starts thinking about how much he loves her, and that he doesnt want to stay at the party much longer, her just wants to be with her right now. They finally leave the party and as each second passes, he wants to be with her more and more. When they arrive at the hotel he watches her as she unwinds, and notices everything from her from the way she turns to the way her hair shines, and then she kisses him. His heart fills his chest because he thinks she is feeling the same way about him right then. But then all of a sudden she burts into tears. He has no idea where any of this comes from. She finally tells him why shes crying, and its because shes remembering her first love. The boy was 17 when she knew him and the memories of him came flooding back when she heard the tenor singing. He would sing the same sweet song to her. He loved her, and she loved him. The boy loved her so much that he came through the rain to see her before she had to move away, and died after he fell ill. With this, Gabe just doesnt know what to do. Has everything she has expressed to him, been for him, or the boy she had loved? This kiss she had given him couldnt have been of gabe, but of the boy she had loved. The reason this story gets me is because you could be giving someone your everything, and think that all the they are giving back to you, but everytime they kiss you, everytime you make love, everytime they think about their children, its being imagined with someone else. It makes me so scared to think that you may imagine and all of your beliefs could be in one person loving you, that there is nothing otherwise to make you think differently, but its not you that they are giving their hearts to. I may seem like i'm taking this way to hard, but just read the story, maybe the last half or so, to really get what I'm trying to say.
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