The Dead (short story)

The Dead (Short Story)

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The Dead (short story)

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"The Dead" is the final short story in the 1914 collection Dubliners by James Joyce. It is the longest story in the collection and is often considered the best of Joyce's shorter works. At 15,672 words it has also been considered a novella.

It was made into a film also entitled The Dead in 1987, directed by John Huston. In 1999 it was adapted into a musical by Richard Nelson and Shaun Davey. Christopher Walken starred in the original production.


  • Gabriel Conroy - The main character of the story.
  • Kate Morkan and Julia Morkan - Gabriel's aunts, elderly sisters who throw a party every year during Christmas time.
  • Mary Jane Morkan - Niece of Kate and Julia Morkan.
  • Lily - Maid, offended by Gabriel Conroy when he asks about her love life.
  • Gretta Conroy - Gabriel's wife.
  • Molly Ivors - Colleague of Gabriel's, very patriotic about Ireland.
  • Mr. Browne - Only Protestant guest at the party.
  • Freddy Malins - A drunk and friend of Gabriel.
  • Bartell D'Arcy - A famous, retired, tenor.

Gabriel Conroy, Gretta Conroy, Kate and Julia Morkan, and Bartell d'Arcy are all alluded to in James Joyce's later work, Ulysses, though no character from "The Dead" makes a direct appearance in the novel.

Plot summary

The story centres on Gabriel Conroy on the night of the Morkan sisters' annual dance and dinner in the first week of January 1904, perhaps the Feast of the Epiphany (January 6). Typical of the stories in Dubliners, "The Dead" develops toward...
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