Prototypical Man of T.S. Eliot's Essay

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This is the case with Gabriel in "The Dead" as well. Throughout much of the action of the story, Gabriel appears at a loss as to who he is, which is directly related to how he is perceived. The first time in the story this is noticed is to the beginning, when he gives a coin to Lily out of an unspecified yet apparently selfless motive. Gabriel wants to share himself with others, but is unable to do s in a manner he feels befits him because he is unsure of himself, and unsure of how others react to him. This becomes painfully clear at the end of the story, when Gabriel realizes that the nature of love is related to the desire for death in love's absence: "His soul had approached that region where dwell the vast hosts of the dead. He was conscious of, but could not apprehend, their wayward and flickering existence.
His own identity was fading out into a grey impalpable world" (Joyce). At the end of the story, Gabriel experiences a bittersweet salvation of sorts in his sudden understanding of humanity, but is still left alone, caught between life and death.

This in-between state seems all-pervasive in "The Wasteland," and its appearance in Joyce's work is not necessarily a conscious or planned homage, but rather is typical of the time that produced these two works of literature. Religion, communication, and personal relationships all fail for Gabriel and in the world of "The Wasteland," where human beings are little better than animals for their consciousness, or perhaps are actually worse because of it. This consciousness leaves no room for excuses when human potential and connection fails; the world is truly a watse when people are unable to see themselves and others clearly….....

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