One story I’ve read repeatedly, having been introduced to it in one of my college lit classes, was The Dead by James Joyce.  In my first read of the story, I was like, “So what?”  It wasn’t until my professor delved into the meaning of the story, its setting, and metaphorical uses, that I became amazed.  I said to myself there and then (though actually, I’d been saying this to myself for a couple of years already) that I would like to one day have my story dissected by a professor of literature and discussed amongst a class of aspiring writers!  In all honesty, the dinner party scene from my book was, in fact, inspired by Joyce’s short story.  Honestly, I have read The Dead twenty times if I’d read it once, and for some reason, I continue to be enthralled by it.  To me, it is a seasonal read, symbolically important to the story’s theme.

            The characters seated at Katherine’s dinner table are all quite out of their element, save for Katherine and of course, her husband Drake.   I meant for the guests’ conversations, the interplay between their various personality types, to be irritating as well as intimate and revealing.  The dinner party is one of my favorite scenes in the book and is—in all honesty—quite lengthy.  Yet the information revealed during the pages of that evening’s social gathering is a wealth of knowledge that is often referred back to while all of it comes into play elsewhere in the story.