Desire of Escape

945 Words2 Pages

Desire of Escape

In Dubliners, James Joyce tells short stories of individuals struggling with life, in the city of Dublin. “It is a long road that has no turning” (Irish Proverb). Many individuals fight the battle and continue on the road. However, some give up and get left behind. Those who continue to fight the battle, often deal with constant struggle and suffering. A reoccurring theme, in which Joyce places strong emphasis on, is the constant struggle of fulfilling responsibilities. These responsibilities include; work, family and social expectations. Joyce writes about these themes because characters often feel trapped and yearn to escape from these responsibilities. In “The Little Cloud”, “Counterparts”, and “The Dead” characters are often trapped in unhappy living situations, often leading to a desire of escape from reality and daily responsibilities.

In Dubliners, characters feel trapped in work related issues, which ultimatly results in unhappiness. In the story “Counterparts”, Farrington is unhappy with his job. Working as a copy clerk, does not provide Farrington with proper satisfaction. The mistreatment he receives from his boss, makes his job worse. Mr. Alleyne screams, “you have always some excuse or another for shirking work. Let me tell you that if that contract is not copied before this evening I’ll lay the matter before Mr. Crosbie... Do you hear me now?” (83). Farringtons boss is strict and demeaning. Feelings of worthlessness are quite evident. One might argue that Farrington abuses alcohol as a way to escape his work responsibilities. He does this by engaging in constant stops at the pub during his work day. “It’s alright Mr. Shelley, said the man, pointing with his finger to indicate the objective of his journey” (84).

A similar type of entrapment in work, is also evident in the story, “A Little Cloud”. Chandler strives to be as successful as his old time friend, Gallagher. He constantly compares his job to that of Gallagher. Feelings of worthlessness take over, causing Chandler to be unhappy, contemplating ways to escape his reality. Chandler wishes he could be as successful as Ignatius Gallaher. He states, “ There was always a certain... something in Ignatius Gallaher that impressed you in spite of yourself” (67). Constantly comparing his job, to that of Gallaher, Chandler becomes more depressed.

Open Document