The Dead

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Gabriel Conroy

The story’s protagonist, a middle-aged Dublin teacher and writer. Gabriel’s name, which means “man of God” in Hebrew, carries Biblical significance, as it is the name of the angel who announces the coming of the… (read full character analysis)

Gretta Conroy

Gabriel’swife, a good-natured and kind woman. She does not hate Dublin as Gabriel does, and finds his interest in things like galoshes to be ridiculous. She reveals the story of her first love, Michael(read full character analysis)

Lily

The caretaker’s daughter who helps attend to the party guests. She seems to have known the family since she was a child, since Gabriel remembers when she was little and “used to sit on the… (read full character analysis)

Kate Morkan (Aunt Kate)

Gabriel’s aunt, who lives and is hosting the dinner party with her sister Julia, and niece, Mary Jane. She is a musician who gives piano lessons in their home, since she is… (read full character analysis)

Julia Morkan (Aunt Julia)

Gabriel’s other aunt, who is also hosting the annual Christmas party along with Kate and Mary Jane. She works as the leading soprano in Adam and Eve’s, which is a popular Dublin name… (read full character analysis)
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Mary Jane

Kate and Julia’s niece. Her father Pat died and her aunts took her into their care around thirty years ago. Now she plays the organ at Haddington Road. She acts as a peace keeper… (read full character analysis)
Minor Characters
Molly Ivors
Gabriel’s colleague who appears to be a staunch Irish nationalist. She aggressively teases Gabriel for his contributions to a unionist publication, pejoratively calling him a “West Briton.” She leaves the party early, possibly because she is upset by her interaction with Gabriel.
Mr. Browne
Another guest at the party. His surname proves significant as Joyce uses the color brown throughout Dubliners to signify the drabness of Dublin life. He continually makes jokes involving his name throughout the night. He represents the simple Dublin man that Gabriel sees as inferior.
Freddy Malins
A guest at the party with a known drinking problem. The hostesses are concerned he will make a scene so they put Gabriel in charge of him.
Mrs. Malins
Freddy Malin’s wife, who is overwhelmingly silent during the festivities, except when she mentions that her son is going to stay at a Monastery, which implies he is perhaps seeking treatment for alcoholism.
Miss Daly
A minor guest at the party.
Miss Power
A minor guest at the party.
Miss Furlong
A guest at the party.
Mr. Kerrigan
A minor guest at the party.
Mr. Bartell D’Arcy
A famous tenor vocalist who is present at the Christmas party. All of Dublin is raving about his voice.
Patrick Morkan
Gabriel’s grandfather who owned a starch mill. Gabriel recounts the story of his grandfather’s horse, Johnny, who walked in circles around King Billy’s statue.
Gabriel’s Mother
Though she is deceased, Gabriel attributes his accomplishments to his mother. She disapproved of Gabriel’s marriage to Gretta, however, and Gabriel resents her for this.
Constantine
Gabriel’s brother.
Miss O’Callaghan
A guest at the party.