Personal Paralysis in Dubliners by James Joyce Essay

Personal Paralysis in Dubliners by James Joyce Essay

Length: 1842 words (5.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Personal Paralysis in Dubliners by James Joyce



Imagine being paralyzed; unable to move freely. Most people when they think of paralization, it is connected to the physical. However, paralysis takes on more than one meaning and goes way beyond physicality. There are three definitions from Webster online:

1. Complete or partial loss of function especially when involving the motion or sensation in a part of the body
2. Loss of the ability to move
3. A state of powerlessness or incapacity to act

The first and second definitions are primarily about physical paralysis, however in the first one, “loss of function,” could be any kind of function. The final definition cuts deep because it goes beyond the physical and begins to dip into the psyche. Similar to losing a function, the power lost is ambiguous. Paralysis is weaved in and out of Dubliners through the various plots and characters in each short story. The stories of “The Sisters,” “An Encounter,” and “Eveline,” all portray characters who are stuck within Dublin in their own personal paralysis relative to each individual, either struggling to overcome it and escape, or recognizing their paralysis for the first time. Many readers however, would argue that the characters in these stories are all weak and powerless, and do not try hard enough to fix their problems which is expressed in “Eveline.”

The first story sets the tone for the entire book especially in the beginning paragraph, as James Joyce paints a picture of paralysis:

If he was dead, I thought, I would see the reflection of candles on the darkened blind for I knew that two candles must be set at the head of a corpse. He had often said to me: I am not long for this worl...


... middle of paper ...


...ralysis relative to their situation, in which spiritual, internal and mental paralysis was in effect. Paralysis is seeping through the street of Dublin affecting the people and thus society. Unfortunately, there is no solution presented and so people remain trapped. The three stories are all about common everyday people that anyone could come across walking the streets of Dublin, and it extends further in that these characters represent the majority of the people living in Dublin with paralysis. It is like a disease that has no cure and James Joyce intelligently constructs this into his work and subtly brings the problem into light for the reader and leaves the reader in thought and contemplation. Paralysis, while in Dublin, is a problem all over the world and it all comes down to exposing the paralysis and then facing it, but alas, it is easier said than done.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

An Analysis Of James Joyce 's Dubliners Essay examples

- James Joyce published Dubliners to demonstrate the everyday struggles and the unattractive human behaviors that were occurring among the people in his own hometown. Paralysis, alcoholism and death are three major themes found in Dubliner’s that paint an unsettling picture of Dublin, Ireland during the early twentieth century for its readers. James Joyce portrays his characters within these stories as incapable and crippled in one-way or another. He does this by exploiting the act of drinking to prove that alcoholism leads to personal downfalls, which is a repeating theme found in many of the stories....   [tags: Dubliners, Dublin, James Joyce, Alcoholism]

Powerful Essays
1194 words (3.4 pages)

Essay on An Analysis Of Joyce 's ' Dubliners '

- Seldom hyperbolic, Joyce’s simple narrative voice is used to retain focus on the experiences and subjectivity of the characters in the short stories of Dubliners, a collection of the everyday observations on the denizens of Dublin. In keeping his stories parallel to their realistic daily lives, Joyce’s plots derive from his characters’ conflict between their individual ambitions and the bleak reality of their stagnating, declining city to which they are bound. The title is almost written ironically; though each main character is a Dubliner, they are far removed from the label....   [tags: Dubliners, James Joyce, Dublin, The Dead]

Powerful Essays
1484 words (4.2 pages)

Reader-Response Criticism of James Joyce’s Eveline from Dubliners Essay

- A Subjective Reader-Response Criticism of James Joyce’s Eveline The subjectivity evident in literary interpretation is hard to deny. Though one person may feel that James Joyce’s writing proves Joyce’s support of the feminist movement, another may believe that Joyce views women as inferior. What could account for such a difference in opinions. Schwarz explains that subjective reader-response critics would respond to a question such as this by answering that each reader uses the literary work to symbolize his or her own life and, therefore, each response is unique to the individual reader....   [tags: Dubliners Essays]

Powerful Essays
2400 words (6.9 pages)

A Character Analysis of James Joyce's The Dubliners Essay

- In the collection of short stories in “Dubliners,” James Joyce introduces a mosaic of the day-to-day lives of working class Irishmen and their personal struggles with the pre-independent societal and personal restrictions of Victorian England. The characters of Little Chandler, Eveline, Maria, and Farrington symbolize the specific components of the kaleidoscopic Irish population and their universal tendency to stay contained within the limits of the current time period and within the limitations of their society....   [tags: Literary Analysis]

Powerful Essays
2224 words (6.4 pages)

Essay on A Similar Life Within A Story: Eveline by James Joyce

- The heartache of losing a loved one is indescribable. Many people live out their lives based off how that one person would want them to live. James Joyce's short story, "Eveline," is an example of how promises are hard to break. As James Joyce writes his stories, his characters and themes share similarities within his own life, giving them more value and much more meaning behind the importance of the story. To begin with, "Eveline" is the story of a young teenager facing a dilemma where she has to choose between living with her father, who has beaten her in the past, and escaping with Frank, a sailor which she has been with for some time....   [tags: consciousness, catholics, paralysis]

Powerful Essays
1434 words (4.1 pages)

Gender in the Stories A Little Cloud and Counterparts in Dubliners Essay

- On the surface, James Joyce's Dubliners is a collection of short stories and unrelated characters woven together only by the common element of the city of Dublin in the early 20th century. Upon closer examination, however, it is evident that each story and character is connected by the many common themes that appear in every story. The theme I am going to discuss in relation to my essay is that of gender in the stories "A Little Cloud" and "Counterparts" from Joyce's Dubliners. In both stories both men struggle with their identities both wanting to change the people they have become and flee the paralysis they are experiencing....   [tags: James Joyce]

Free Essays
1316 words (3.8 pages)

The Sisters and Dubliners Essay

- Dubliners, The Sisters How is ‘The Sisters’ an ideal story with which to open ‘Dubliners’. How is it less than ideal. James Joyce sets all his work in the Dublin city. Dublin itself is almost like a character in these stories; due to the great use of slang, “there was something uncanny about him” and “while my aunt was ladling”. ‘The Sisters’ along with the next two stories are taken from Joyce’s personal memories. In the first three stories Joyce emphasises on certain themes, in which the stories deal with childhood, the central character is ‘I’, who is also the narrator of the stories (he tells the story)....   [tags: English Literature]

Free Essays
1059 words (3 pages)

James Joyce's Araby - Setting and Atmosphere in Araby Essay

- Setting and Atmosphere in Araby   Each of the stories in Dubliners consists of a portrait in which Dublin contributes to the dehumanizing experience of modem life. The boy in the story "Araby" is intensely subject to the city's dark, hopeless conformity, and his tragic yearning toward the exotic in the face of drab, ugly reality forms the center of the story. On its simplest level, "Araby" is a story about a boy's first love. On a deeper level, however, it is a story about the world in which he lives a world inimical to ideals and dreams....   [tags: Joyce Dubliners Araby Essays]

Free Essays
844 words (2.4 pages)

Dubliners ' Dubliners By James Joyce Essay

- Corina Waters Dubliners “Dubliners” is a collection of fifteen short stories written by author James Joyce. These short stories reflect on his feelings associated with the city of Dublin, where he grew up in a large impoverished family. After he graduated from the University College in Dublin, Joyce went to live abroad in Paris. Joyce finished writing “Dubliners” in 1905, just a year after moving to Paris, though he had trouble getting the collection of short stories published so it wasn’t officially published until 1914....   [tags: Dubliners, Dublin, James Joyce, Ulysses]

Powerful Essays
1617 words (4.6 pages)

Male and Female Paralysis in James Joyce's Dubliners Essay

- Male and Female Paralysis in Dubliners Critics widely recognized that each story within James Joyce’s Dubliners contains a theme of paralysis. In fact, Joyce himself wrote, “My intention was to write a chapter of the moral history of my country and I chose Dublin for the scene because that city seemed to me the centre of paralysis” (Joyce, letter to Grant Richards, 5 May 1906). Contained in this moral history called Dubliners are twelve stories that deal with the paralysis of a central male character and only four that deal with so called paralysis within a central female character....   [tags: Dubliners Essays]

Powerful Essays
3570 words (10.2 pages)