Monday, March 15, 2010
Cheng's-"Empire and Patriarchy in 'The Dead'"
I believe Cheng’s identification of Gabriel’s chauvinist and patriarchal tendencies is most clearly seen through the dialogue of Gabriel and Lilly. Knowing Lilly is a servant girl prior to her dialogue with Gabriel serves to subvert the hierarchy of power and patronage. However, as Cheng points out, Gabriel’s maleness is challenged by Lilly causing him to fall back on his social standing “thrusting a coin in her hand”(353). This implies the struggle for power as Gabriel represents the imperialist sovereignty while Lilly represents the voice of the oppressed. As Cheng identifies, Gabriel’s inclination to vacation to a powerful country in Europe exposes Gabriel’s desire for sovereignty, parallel to his trumping of Lilly’s statements by giving her a coin. Thus, I believe that Gabriel’s interactions with Lilly serve as a microcosm for Gabriel’s patriarchal and chauvinist tendencies. The identification of Lilly as a servant girl parallels the oppressed nation of Ireland while Gabriel’s continental desires parallel imperialist qualities that Miss Ivors identifies by calling him a “West Briton.” Further, Cheng’s interpretation of Gabriel’s preference of things continental such as galoshes and cycling in France reiterate Gabriel’s patriarchal desires that are ultimately paralleled by Gabriel’s money domineering of Lilly.