The dead cast a shadow on the present

The dead cast a shadow on the present, drawing attention to the mistakes and failures that people make generation after generation. Such overlap underscores Joyce’s interest in life cycles and their repetition, and also his concern about those “living dead” figures like Maria in “Clay” who move through life with little excitement or emotion except in reaction to everyday snags and delays. The monotony of Dublin life leads Dubliners to live in a suspended state between life and death, in which each person has a pulse but is incapable of profound, life-sustaining action.
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