The Portrayal of Women in James Joyce's Dubliners

2597 Words11 Pages
In Dubliners, women are victims indeed. They are victims of home, of the recognized virtues by society, of classes of life, of religious doctrines, and of women themselves. In this essay, we are going to analyze the portrayal of women in Dubliners in terms of the aforementioned aspects, namely home, the recognized virtues by society, classes of life, religious doctrines and women themselves. The selection above is provided to make student aware of focus of the essay. The complete essay begins below. "My mind rejects the whole present social order and Christianity – home, the recognized virtues, classes of life, and religious doctrines…. My mother was slowly killed, I think, by my father’s ill-treatment, by years of trouble, and by my cynical frankness of conduct. When I looked on her face as she lay in her coffin – a face gray and wasted with cancer – I understood that I was looking on the face of a victim and I cursed the system which had made her a victim." (Letters, II, 48) In Dubliners, women are victims indeed. They are victims of home, of the recognized virtues by society, of classes of life, of religious doctrines, and of women themselves. In this essay, we are going to analyze the portrayal of women in Dubliners in terms of the aforementioned aspects, namely home, the recognized virtues by society, classes of life, religious doctrines and women themselves. Women are victims of home. They suffer being confined to their homes. They are somehow isolated from the external world. They have little, if not no at all, freedom. Their chief roles are to be good wives to the menfolk, to be good mothers to their children, and to look after their families well. They are not expected to take care of those affairs out... ... middle of paper ... ... by masculine authority by virtue of the fact that they are inferior to and should be subservient to men. Worse still, women are often discriminated by society, which is largely monopolized by men. Sex discriminations find their way to home, the workplace and even the public life by and large. Furthermore, they are victimized by religious orthodoxy as well as their own acts and psychology. But anyway, who is to blame for the sufferings of women – the circumstance or women themselves? Works Cited: Benstock, Bernard. Critical Essays on James Joyce. G.K. Hall & Co. Boston, Massachusetts: 1985. Joyce, James. Dubliners. Washington Square Press. New York, New York: 1998. Selected Joyce Letters. Ed. Richard Ellmann. New York: Viking Compass, 1975. Seidel, Michael. James Joyce: A Short Introduction. Blackwell Publishers, Inc. Oxford, UK: 2002.
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