A Controlling Sympathy: The Style of Irony in Joyce's "The Dead"

Jeffery A. Triggs
A number of critics have maintained that Joyce was depicting symbolically a society of the "living dead." All the characters, according to such a view, are left exposed to the merciless blasts of their author's irony. Against such a view, I would argue that Joyce had a more generous conception of his characters. This is not to say that he does not "detect" them in the limitations of their humanity, that there is not irony at play here, but simply that the irony is gentle and embracing.
doi:10.7282/t3057k3v fatcat:fa4hozkmj5cexiyoui6nqcvsr4