Essay about A Little Cloud: Shame

Essay about A Little Cloud: Shame

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Shame is a negative emotion that contributes to feeling guilty and disappointed. An individuals perception of themselves an a human being can have intensive implications because of shame. One’s behaviour and outlook on life can change drastically due to shame. The shame-driven behavioural changes can contribute to regretful situations due to certain actions that the individual carried out. These behaviours include aggressiveness or pure negativity, towards all aspects of life. Aggressiveness is a behavioural trait, which is due to escalating tension build up inside the individual. There may be many situations that may have contributed to such an aggressive behaviour. In the short story “Dubliners: A Little Cloud”, James Joyce explains the story of a timid law clerk, Little Chandler”, who experiences the sense of shame at the end of the story, due to an aggressive situation that occurred. The reasoning behind the sense of shame was not only the last scene of the story, rather there were several incidents that occurred in the story that had a contributing factor to the exacerbation of the conflict. There were no factors alleviating the conflict, causing the protagonist to feel ashamed for his actions in the last scene, as well as throughout his life. Little Chandler’s life revolved around the struggle that an average person experienced in Dublin, in the time frame of the twentieth century. Joyce used an archetypal approach to explain how shame can be contributed by materialistic aspects of life, such as societal status, occupation, income, etc. Joyce described how Little Chandler wanted to escape from the everyday struggles of life and live a life similar to his friend Gallaher. The need to escape Ireland and the want to be like Gal...


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...lest. This someone was his child. Chandler seemed to be genuinely apologetic for shouting at his son; however, one may assume that Chandler was crying because he was self-centered and pitied himself. His character shifted throughout the story as the reader felt remorseful and sympathetic towards Chandler and near the end may believe he was egocentric. However, it was evident that Chandler recognized his egotistical behaviour, resulting in him feeling shameful. The reader was given an insight of Chandlers shamefulness when Joyce stated that “Little Candler felt his cheeks suffused with shame and he stood back out of the lamplight. He listened while the paroxysm of the child’s sobbing grew less and less; and tears of remorse started to his eyes.”(68). All Chandler wanted was a chance to escape, and believed that by writing a book on poem will allow him to escape.

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