Everything seems to be different when one exchanges one's own viewpoint for that of an 'other'. The entire meaning of life may change when man exchanges his perspective for that of a bird or sees some incident through the eyes of a woman. The concept of 'otherness' is central to the understanding of different individuals or groups.
Thus an encounter with the alien reality may give a rude shock to the individual. When one perceives something which affects one emotionally from the point of view of the 'other', it might, in all probability , bring on a lot of emotional and spiritual upheaval in oneself.
In their different encounters with alien reality, the poet Keats and Gabriel Conroy, the central character in James Joyce's story, "The Dead", both experience a feeling of being forlorn and both long for a peaceful death. While the feeling is spiritual in the case of Keats, it is emotional in the case of Conroy.
"The Dead" is a richly emotional short story in" The Dubliners", a collection of short stories by James Joyce. Gabriel Conroy, a professor who also writes a column for a newspaper, attends the annual dance party given by the Misses Morkan, Julia and Kate , accompanied by his wife Gretta. At the party he meets his colleague Miss Ivors, who asks him whether he was not ashamed of writing for a certain newspaper and calls him a West Briton. She argues with him about his choice for a holiday, saying that he ought to visit his own land. After dinner, Gabriel gives a speech thanking the Misses Morkan for their hospitality. As the guests are leaving, Gabriel sees his wife Gretta listening raptly to a song sung by the tenor, Bartell D'Arcy. ...