Gut Reaction To “The Dead”

Despite taking place in a different country and in a different time, “The Dead” felt familiar to me. I couldn’t help but notice the similarities between the gathering in the story and my own family gatherings. The relative who loves the sound of her own voice, the older folks reminiscing about the past and gushing over their children’s accomplishments, the disagreeable teenager, the charming uncle, and that one relative who brings politics into everything. The people in “The Dead” may not have all been related, but they felt just like my family. I would say the story made me feel homesick, but that’s not quite accurate. A melancholy sense of nostalgia perhaps? Gabriel brought the story even closer, with that familiar vortex of emotion swallowing him when he is in the company of the people he knows, loves, and is a little too familiar with. His desire to one up Ms. Ivors feels just like my desire to prove my irritating cousin and her husband wrong. They always try to manipulate the conversation and force what they believe is right on me, so Gabriel’s annoyance with Ms. Ivors, though a little different in nature, is a feeling I understand all too well. Honestly, once I finished the story I was left with both the desire to see my whole family right now and the desire to stay away from them for a long while. It’s kind of funny that the same group of people can evoke such conflicting feelings, but I’m sure everyone feels the same way, at least in part.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *