- Life vs. Death
- Social Class
- Gabriel Conroy (protagonist) attends a dinner part held by his aunts to celebrate Epiphany (religious festival)
- He coverses with the caretaker's daughter, Lily and the nationalist Mrs Ivors - both these conversations end bady.
- He gives a speech (trying to heighten his appearence)
- Upon leaving, Gabriel's wife, Gretta, becomes fixated on a song being sung and continues this strange behaviour 'till they get back to the hotel.
- In the hotel, Gretta is 'off' with Gabriel and shuns his efforts to comfort her.
- She tells him that the song had reminded her of a previous lover who once sung that song to her. She explains how he died after waiting outside her window in the cold.
- Gabriel had no idea about this and concludes that he doesn't really know his wife at all.
Key Quotes - explainations
"...the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the decent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead."
This is a metaphor for iscolation - not being able to know othersm, even people closest to us (Gretta). It lies "thickly drifted" upon all objects acting as a barrier and isolating.
The snow also functions as a symbol for the death - it comes to everyone.
- Cataphoric references - 'She did not answer', 'She Broke loose': Repetition of 'she' (refering tho Gretta) suggests lack of respect for women at that time and also the distance between the couple.
- Free indirect discourse - 'Why did she seem so distracted? - shows Gabriels streams of thoughts. Creates potential for the audience to feel sympathetic for him.