The Dead Essay

977 words - 4 pages

Life experience is what makes us who we are. Deeds and misdeeds executed, relationships forged, decisions rendered and random memories collected continuously mold us and alter who we will be when we wake up the next morning. We all posses these nuances, there is no question. When it comes to current emotional endeavors the question of history is very tricky. Some people feel that a license of marriage gives them a license of knowledge, and believe that absolute disclosure is necessary in creating the strongest bond possible. Gabriel is one of these people. He feels that Gretta has been disloyal and restrained affection from him, which is wrong; also brought into question is whether years, marriage and children are enough for her to "get over" the past, which is preposterous; the concept of the integrity of previous romantic memory when interacting with current relationships of virtue come in to play as a resounding yes; and finally, Gabriel seems to correct himself when he claims that snow covers both the living and the dead.It's unfair to condemn Gretta for "hiding" anything from Gabriel and there is no ground to declare a breach of loyalty. Gretta had a memory from her youth that took many years for her to come to terms with (or repress, pending the view). The first boy (Michael Furey) she had a true emotional attachment to had died because he took on the elements to see her before she left for the convent, and for a long time she put some of the blame on herself. The only thing that triggered the memory of Michael was a simple song that was sung by a patron of the Christmas party, called The Lass of Aughrim. She never saw him, never heard is name, or even mentioned him. Even at the point of her greatest weakness from the memory, she never lauded or lavished his name with unfettered love. She simply restated the past during a moment of nostalgia, which cannot be a basis for disloyalty. She retained that memory, mostly because she grew past dwelling on it, but mostly to protect herself. Kant says that the first duty is to preserve life (Morgan). One can interpret that as conservation of one's mental health. She wanted to have a lead a happier life so she hid the pain of Michael's death. Not selfish but self-preserving.To assault the poor woman with a barrage of "get over it" is as cruel as it is unfair. Not once during the party did she make mention of having a previous love, or that she was pining for a time where Michael was alive. Yes, she was seen gazing out the window in a state of reflection, but even the most beautiful winter scene can bring about feelings of depression in people. She wasn't dwelling, or even contemplating the past until she heard the song. One cannot be ordered to get over an event that hasn't been confronted in over a decade, roughly.The...

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