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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Humanity of Gabriel's Epiphany In Vincent Cheng's Analysis

Vincent Cheng closes his analysis by addressing Gabriel's final epiphany, "for it is an act of emotional expansiveness, self-understanding, and generosity...The West and the snow in his final vision suggest all those repressed elements that Gabriel's ego has denied, sold out to, or been co-opted out of (362)." Every man wants to control his world or at the very last have a grasp on the situation. Gabriel as we see throughout "The Dead" does not really have any control and his feeble attempts such as trying to pay-off Lily were simply "culturally-encoded". Not that it excuses his demeanor but he doesn't know any better, and knows nothing else. His final epiphany, at least through my own experience, is one that many people have as they are "reaching their end". As they grow older they realize that the snow falls unprejudiced "upon all the living and the dead; they grow more liberal andmore considerate of their fellow man. It is epiphanies of this sort in which a real appreciation swells forth and the moment becomes bitter sweet. Who truly wishes to live forever?

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