The Dead


James Joyce

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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 lowest step nursing a rag doll.” Lily has a good relationship with Kate, Julia, and Mary Jane as she rarely makes mistakes. She becomes bitter when Gabriel makes a comment about her being of the age to marry.

Lily Quotes in The Dead

The The Dead quotes below are all either spoken by Lily or refer to Lily. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Jealousy and Male Pride Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin Classics edition of The Dead published in 1993.
Section 1 Quotes

The girl glanced back at him over her shoulder and said with great bitterness: The men that is now is only palaver and what they can get out of you.
Gabriel coloured as if he felt he had made a mistake and, without looking at her, kicked off his galoshes…

Related Characters: Lily (speaker), Gabriel Conroy
Page Number: 178
Explanation and Analysis:

He was undecided about the lines from Robert Browning for he feared they would be above the heads of his hearers…He would only make himself ridiculous by quoting poetry to them which they could not understand. They would think that he was airing his superior education. He would fail with them just as he had failed with the girl in the pantry.

Related Characters: Gabriel Conroy, Lily
Page Number: 179
Explanation and Analysis:
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Lily Character Timeline in The Dead

The timeline below shows where the character Lily appears in The Dead. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Section 1
Death Theme Icon
Women and Society Theme Icon the midst of Kate and Julia Morkan’s annual Christmas party, with the caretaker’s daughter Lily taking the male party guest’s coats, while Julia and Kate attend to the women’s coats.... (full context)
Jealousy and Male Pride Theme Icon
Death Theme Icon
Women and Society Theme Icon
...who often arrives late and drunk. When Gabriel finally arrives, along with his wife Gretta, Lily takes his coat, which is covered with snow from outside. Lily asks if it is... (full context)