These short stories dealt with childhood, adolescence, adulthood and maturity with the last story The Dead dealing with a mature adult couple.
Gabriel and Gretta Conroy attended the Christmas party
hosted by The elderly Morkan sisters Miss Kate and Miss Julia and their niece
Mary Jane at their gaunt home in Usher’s Island, on the south Dublin Quays.
The countrywide snow storms shrouded the callers in a
dusting of snow. Misses Kate and Julia dreaded the imminent arrival of Freddy Malins
who was likely to be screwed (drunk) and unmanageable. Mr Browne took charge of
Malins drinking. Bartell D’Arcy, the tenor, was in attendance. Dances and
dancers were arranged with the many dancers thoroughly enjoying themselves. The merriment was intoxicating, inviting a convivial and relaxed social occasion.
Miss Ivors challenged Gabriel’s book reviews as G.C. in the
‘West British’ The Daily Express.
Gabriel was alarmed at her sudden challenge and went over his intended speech
to calm himself. Ireland was changing.
Gabriel carved the goose and the supper was consumed by all.
Gabriel delivered his speech of thanks to the Morkans, the hostesses, fully
omitting his intended references to Browning, the Three Graces and Paris.
Most short stories have a plot. Joyce’s stories concentrated
on something he reveals about his characters. Gabriel’s desire for his wife
remains unfilled. Gretta mentions Michael Furey her first love in Galway and
how he died for her. The song The Lass of
Aughrim sung hauntingly by D’Arcy distracted her and Gabriel withdrew his