The Unpleasant Paralyzing Effect Of Dublin By James Joyce Essay

The Unpleasant Paralyzing Effect Of Dublin By James Joyce Essay

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Throughout the stories in Dubliners by James Joyce we notice elements of the unpleasant paralyzing effect of Dublin. Dublin is portrayed as a catalyst for the inability of its citizens to move forward in their lives. The characters that Joyce writes about create a general idea of the paralysis observed in residents of Dublin. We can recognize elements of “generational paralysis” in the stories that depict children, in particular, with parents and/or guardians who already exhibit the perils resulting from this form of paralysis. These children really have no chance in life to have a future beyond Dublin. As readers, we experience instances when characters of Dubliners have tried to move away but are still held back by the paralyzing effects of being raised by these already paralyzed adults. This could perhaps be reflecting Joyce’s life as well because, although, he was exiled he still felt the grip of the paralysis so widespread in his nation.
Many would agree that the organization of the stories in Dubliners is very important to the compiling of the collection. The organization is an expansion from the first story to the last. I believe that the two stories that begin and end the collection are most important and they hold the most significant elements of Dublin life. It is very important that the collection begins and ends with death and that we regard how all the generations are affected by it. In Fritz Senn’s article “‘He Was Too Scrupulous Always’ James Joyce’s ‘The Sisters’” he talks about the deeper meaning of the word “paralysis”. The word is looked at as “strange” to the boy narrator and he takes a more literal meaning to the word (67-68). Senn believes, “all through his career Joyce seemed incapable of using words in one...


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...r depicted in this story. Which, in retrospect, means she has no future all over bad fortune.
Another mother who may have sealed their daughter’s fate is the dead mother of Eveline. Toward the end of “Eveline” we learn that Eveline has made a promise to her deceased mother before her death. While Eveline is sitting by the window, trying to decide whether she should leave with Frank, she begins to hear an organ melody she recalls. The narrator states, “strange that it should come that very night to remind her of her promise to her mother, her promise to keep the home together as long as she could” (Joyce 30). This melody is what causes Eveline to second guess herself. Although right after she has this flashback she feels the need to escape, she ends up staying in Dublin at the end. Trapped by the paralytic grip of her mother and father who she has made promises to.

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