All posts by Keith Oatley

The Inwardness of James Joyce’s Story, “The Dead”

by Keith Oatley, University of Toronto; Maja Djikic, University of Toronto; Raymond Mar, York University, Toronto

James Joyce’s most famous short story, ”The Dead,” works in layers. In one of these we identify with the story’s protagonist, Gabriel Conroy, so that we ourselves become metaphorical: we remain ourselves but also become Gabriel. In another layer Joyce offers an extended metaphor in which we are prompted to wonder whether understandings of others whom we might meet at a party have a relation to being intimate with a spouse. Although our emotions are empathetically related to Gabriel’s they are our own, as we take on his concerns and plans in the circumstances he enters. Continue reading The Inwardness of James Joyce’s Story, “The Dead”