SAT阅读扩展素材(二):Dubliners, the Dear
The Morkans’ party consists of the kind of deadening routines that make existence so lifeless in Dubliners. The events of the party repeat each year: Gabriel gives a speech, Freddy Malins arrives drunk, everyone dances the same memorized steps, everyone eats. Like the horse that circles around and around the mill in Gabriel’s anecdote, these Dubliners settle into an expected routine at this party. Such tedium fixes the characters in a state of paralysis. They are unable to break from the activities that they know, so they live life without new experiences, numb to the world. Even the food on the table evokes death. The life-giving substance appears at “rival ends” of the table that is lined with parallel rows of various dishes, divided in the middle by “sentries” of fruit and watched from afar by “three squads of bottles.” The military language transforms a table set for a communal feast into a battlefield, reeking with danger and death.
“The Dead” encapsulates the themes developed in the entire collection and serves as a balance to the first story, “The Sisters.” Both stories piercingly explore the intersection of life and death and cast a shadow over the other stories. More than any other story, however, “The Dead” squarely addresses the state of Ireland in this respect. In his speech, Gabriel claims to lament the present age in which hospitality like that of the Morkan family is undervalued, but at the same time he insists that people must not linger on the past, but embrace the present. Gabriel’s words betray him, and he ultimately encourages a tribute to the past, the past of hospitality, that lives on in the present party. His later thoughts reveal this attachment to the past when he envisions snow as “general all over Ireland.” In every corner of the country, snow touches both the dead and the living, uniting them in frozen paralysis. However, Gabriel’s thoughts in the final lines of Dubliners suggest that the living might in fact be able to free themselves and live unfettered by deadening routines and the past. Even in January, snow is unusual in Ireland and cannot last forever.
The Feast of the Epiphany of Our Lord Jesus Christ is one of the oldest Christian feasts, though, throughout the centuries, it has celebrated a variety of things. Epiphany comes from a Greek verb meaning "to reveal," and all of the various events celebrated by the Feast of the Epiphany are revelations of Christ to man.