The Dead – Thomas Bateman
Ivy Day in the Committee Room was pretty much lost on me, but the social dynamics of ‘The Dead’ were quite interesting. It seems to have a theme of overt Irish nationalism, although knowing that Joyce himself moved away from Ireland and did most of his significant writing elsewhere complicates this for me. While the Michael Furey character seems to represent some lost ideal representation of Ireland, Joyce does not reveal exactly the extent of Gretta’s affection for it. The notion of Irish hospitality also piqued my interest, as it would seem to relate to the concept of guest friendship in the Odyssey.
To be entirely honest, I read this really quickly once I found out that I was supposed to have posted by nine and will hopefully have a closer reading for class tomorrow. On the surface the story seems like it could be a trite homage to a sense of Irish patriotism, but surely Joyce’s own politics and life experience complicate this.