Triangular Structure in James Joyce's Dubliners Essay

Triangular Structure in James Joyce's Dubliners Essay

Length: 1963 words (5.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Triangular Structure in James Joyce's Dubliners


Within the body of literary criticism that surrounds James Joyce's Dubliners is a tendency to preclude analysis beyond an Irish level, beyond Joyce's own intent to "create the uncreated conscience of [his] race." However, in order to place the text within an appropriately expansive context, it seems necessary to examine the implications of the volume's predominant thematic elements within the broader scope of human nature. The "psychic drama" which places Dubliners within a three-tiered psychological framework ² desire, repression, agression ² lies at the root of a larger triangular structure that pervades many of our most fundamental belief systems and life processes. This structure forms the basis for the tenets of some of the most grand attempts at a definition of the purpose and origin of humanity, from the holy trinity of Catholicism to Freud's theory of id, ego, and superego. Dubliners, in its own perhaps less ambitious pursuit of a certain significance of life, embodies and exemplifies similarly triangular frameworks. They are arranged concentrically, relating to both content and structure and radiating out from that central psychological triangle ² desire, repression, aggression. It is this structural mechanism, prevalent throughout the volume, which reveals the philosophical implications of Dubliners and places it within a broader interpretive context.

While it is clear that this psychic drama manifests in its entirety in nearly every individual story in the volume, perhaps more important when viewing Dubliners from a broader perspective is the notion that the three elements of this drama seem to dominate respectively within the three life stages which form the org...


... middle of paper ...


...ugh a connection such as Walzl makes between ancient interpretive theory and the text of Dubliners, it becomes apparent that the previously described triangular frameworks present in the volume serve to connect it to a certain tradition of philosophy and psychology which attempts to derive the purpose and the intrinsic driving forces of human life and behavior. Numerous examples of these triangular theories exist throughout the history of thought : traditional notions of past, present, and future; Freud's theory of id, ego, and superego; Lacan's division of life into what is real, imaginary, and symbolic; Barthes' idea of sign, signifier, and signified; just to name a few. It is debatable whether or not Joyce's structural decisions had any conscious relationship to this tradition of three-level thought, yet the implications are present regardless of his intentions.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

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)

Essay on Dubliners By James Joyce 's Dubliners

- James Joyce uses his novel Dubliners to reveal how fathers are in Dublin during 1904. Joyce utilizes his stories within Dubliners, such as “Eveline” and “Counterparts,” to describe the cruelty fathers were during the early 1900s. Within “Eveline” Eveline Hill is trapped within her home dealing with her abusive father and trying to escape the reality with her lover. However, she remembers her mother’s promise of maintaining the household. Her father is a prime example of Joyce’s representation of fathers within the 1900s....   [tags: Dubliners, James Joyce, Family, Ulysses]

Powerful Essays
725 words (2.1 pages)

James Joyce 's The Dubliners Essay

- Humans are a very mental species - not mental as in insane, but mental as in trapped in our own minds. With only one set of eyes to see, one set of hands to create, one brain to think and problem-solve, oftentimes humans have difficulty not just seeing the world from another’s perspective, but acknowledging the other perspective at all. The word sonder is described as the realization that each person passing by is living a life just as complicated and vivid as one’s own, and is a common theme throughout James Joyce’s The Dubliners....   [tags: Dubliners, James Joyce, Marriage, Doctor]

Powerful Essays
1040 words (3 pages)

The Dubliners By James Joyce Essay

- James Joyce wrote and published The Dubliners in the 1900s. During the majority of this time period, Ireland was thought of as one of the most oppressive countries in Europe. The Catholic Church was seen as the highest extent of the law and they did not encourage seeing women any higher than the second-class commonwealth of Ireland. In James Joyce’s The Dubliners, women are seen as victims of society, religion and the household. James Joyce leans towards feminism in how he portrays women in this book....   [tags: Dubliners, James Joyce, The Boarding House, Dublin]

Powerful Essays
1207 words (3.4 pages)

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 about James Joyce's Dubliners: Two Gallants

-   In "Two Gallants," the sixth short story in the Dubliners collection, James Joyce is especially careful and crafty in his opening paragraph. Even the most cursory of readings exposes repetition, alliteration, and a clear structure within just these nine lines. The question remains, though, as to what the beginning of "Two Gallants" contributes to the meaning and impact of Joyce's work, both for the isolated story itself and for Dubliners as a whole. The construction, style, and word choice of this opening, in the context of the story and the collection, all point to one of Joyce's most prevalent implicit judgments: that the people of Ireland refuse to make any effort toward positive cha...   [tags: James Joyce Dubliners]

Powerful Essays
2399 words (6.9 pages)

Essay on James Joyce's Dubliners

- James Joyce's Dubliners The struggle that the Irish people must face with the problems of their society can be seen clearly in the book Dubliners, by James Joyce. This book portrays a unique image of what the Irish people are experiencing during the time. However, this book gives a deeper view of what really is occurring because it gives us the themes of the problems that are happening in a peculiar way. In fact, one can see throughout the stories the humanities theme of individual and society, and the literary theme of journey and escape....   [tags: Dubliners James Joyce Essays]

Powerful Essays
2308 words (6.6 pages)

Personal Paralysis in Dubliners by James Joyce Essay

- 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....   [tags: Dubliners James Joyce Paralysis Essays]

Powerful Essays
1842 words (5.3 pages)

Importance of the Journey in James Joyce’s Dubliners Essays

- Importance of the Journey in James Joyce’s Dubliners "In Ireland the inevitable never happens and the unexpected constantly occurs." Sir John Pentland Mahaffy describes Ireland in a way comparable to James Joyce’s depiction of Ireland in his book Dubliners. Joyce wrote his book of short stories to show how he viewed Dublin and its inhabitants. Joyce did not have positive memories of Dublin and his book casts a negative image upon almost all of Dublin. In Dubliners, James Joyce uses characters and their journeys through society to give his perception of Dublin....   [tags: James Joyce Dubliners]

Powerful Essays
1364 words (3.9 pages)

James Joyce's "Dubliners" Essay

- James Joyce's "Dubliners" Throughout James Joyce’s “Dubliners” there are four major themes that are all very connected these are regret, realization, self hatred and Moral paralysis, witch is represented with the actual physical paralysis of Father Flynn in “The Sisters”. In this paper I intend to explore the different paths and contours of these themes in the four stories where I think they are most prevalent ,and which I most enjoyed “Araby”, “Eveline”, “The Boarding House”, and “A Little Cloud”....   [tags: James Joyce Dubliners Themes Essays]

Powerful Essays
1131 words (3.2 pages)