Themes and Style
Most of the stories are written in limited third-person perspective, with a focus on a particular character. This character is developed, and then there is what Joyce called an "epiphany," a moment of clarity. This epiphany may be a moment of clarity for the character, or for the reader. The character continues, but now with a changed perspective on life.
The book is arranged so that the first stories feature younger characters, so that the collection as a whole discusses the various epiphanies that are involved in growing up and growing old.
The collection was written in the early 20th century, a time when Irish nationalist feelings were very strong. As a result, many of the stories deal heavily with the tensions between Ireland and England.
The Dead is the final story in Dubliners and by far the longest. It has been published on its own as a novella and is the capstone of Dubliners.