The Dead Essay

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Rapp, who has taught English composition, has a master's degree and is a Ph.D. candidate in English literature at the University of Toledo. In the following essay, he argues that Gabriel's epiphany allows him to overcome paralysis by giving him a deeper understanding of his own mortality.

A major point of contention for critics of "The Dead" has been whether Gabriel overcomes his paralysis through his epiphany. Many critics, such as Kenneth Burke, feel that Gabriel does transcend his own paralytic self-consciousness. Others argue that he does not transcend his condition but rather, in a way, gives up any such notion and simply accepts that he is one of the spiritually dead. Mi-chael Shurgot sees Gabriel being motivated by what Freud called a death wish. That is, he desires to avoid the problems and pressures of life and hopes to escape them by turning to some...

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This section contains 2,451 words
(approx. 7 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Dead Study Guide
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The Dead from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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