Books and Movies Reviews

Irish American Media

As we saw in the movie The Dead, the main element of the plot centers on the connection between life and Death, the living and the Dead, and the connection between the past and present. Throughout the film, this connection is made apparent either directly through the reminiscing of characters, young and old, or by external factors within the story. One major factor that hasn't been mentioned, is the importance of music throughout this film. It intertwines it's essence amongst practically ever major character, linking one small story to the next, hinting towards a great mystery to be revealed at the end of the movie. As you yourself wrote, Prof. Roman, in your article about Joyce's written short story,
"He constructed his tale almost as if it were a musical piece: the notes, the melodies, the pauses (spaces) and rhythms evolving from his words coming from description, dialogue, the intellectual connections to the reader, the fine details of character, object and occurrence."(Roman, Irish Echo, 12/26/87)
I hope to show you how from the beginning to end, music exists, not just in the background, but as a basis for character development throughout the film as well as embodying the climax of this movie by Huston, and story by James Joyce.
Three areas of focus within the house, as far as music is concerned, are the scenes within the Parlor (living room), Dinning Room, and of course on the Stairs. Thefirst major connection of music with characters exists when the niece of the Morkan Sisters, Mary Jane, is asked to play a piece of music on the piano. Huston gives us a quick glance at somewhat shady emotional connection between Molly Ivers and Gabriel when she gives him a wink. Later on during some dancing through conversation we see that they know one another and are at opposite ends, politically, with regards to the "Irish Question". It becomes clear that there maybe at o…

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