"Life is for Living" Comparing the literary works from James Joyce's "The Dead" and "Death of a Salesman"

Essay by chinkubusUniversity, Bachelor's March 2006

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Comparing the literary works from James Joyce's "The Dead" and "Death of a Salesman", the characters Gabriel and Willy Loman have some similarities and differences. Throughout the story Gabriel's behavior appears to be split and seems to represent different in The Dead. Those different aspects in his behavior and also the way he is presented to the reader, it points at the assumption that he is wearing a kind of mask throughout the course of events. But at the end, after the confession of his beloved wife, Gabriel's life is radically changed and then his masks fall. As for Willy Loman, he has gone deaf to the outside world. Many tried to help him, but he shut them out and created his own reality in which he is successful and loved by everyone. In Death of a Salesman, Willy has many influences both good and bad attempting to direct his life.

It is his refusal to choose the helpful advice that will ultimately lead to his downfall.

Gabriel Conroy's character is shown by his aptitude for affection and his high education. He considers the others at the dance to be of a different "grade of culture," he has a general concern for them all. He is conscious of his superior education, not wanting his speech to seem a reflection of it. He has a great love and compassion for his wife, wishing he could offer her more than their tiresome life. Rather than be angered by or misinterpreting Gretta's sad situation, he comforts her and restrains from revealing his innermost feelings. Gabriel is a thoughtful, understanding husband through all ordeals and obstacles.

He is a clear instance of the person who can't really reconcile simple physical desire for his beloved wife, so Gabriel is troubled by what strikes us...