Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper In August, 6959, James Joyce wrote to his friend C. P. Curran: “I am writing a series of epicleti. I call the series Dubliners to betray the soul of that hemeplegia or paralysis which many consider a city. ” This note announces, in effect, a transformation of the short story as a form. The note’s pretentious jargon reveals the attitude of the young Joyce’s artistic demeanor. In addition, it calls attention to some of the main technical and thematic characteristics of a volume that had to wait a further ten years for a publisher to consider it acceptable.
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There is still some scholarly debate over the term “epicleti, ” whose etymology remains obscure. It is clear, however, that Joyce’s use of the term shows him to be in pursuit of an aesthetic method. This self-conscious search for a method reveals Joyce as a preeminently twentieth century modernist author. As with his eminent contemporaries and advocates T. S. Eliot and Ezra Pound, to write was to articulate a theory of writing. Moreover, the search was successfully concluded, as the closing chapter of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man records. These sketches sometimes resemble prose poems, calibrating moments of intense perception and emotional heightening. At other times, they take the form of life studies of banal moments in everyday life. The overall intention is one of unmasking hidden states, whether of the exalted or humdrum variety. The careful delineation of lost lives, which characterizes most of Dubliners, is a unique contribution to the spirit of the critique, which informs much of the stories’ Irish cultural context. It is not surprising to learn that they were considered too controversial to publish with impunity, or that, by virtue of being so, they confirmed their author’s belief that they constituted “a chapter in the moral history of my country. ”In addition, Joyce himself had an integrated vision of the work’s coherence, one whereby the whole would be seen to be greater than the sum of the parts. ” According to Joyce, Dubliners may be divided into four consecutive sections. The first of these consists of the three opening stories, “The Sisters, ” “An Encounter, ” and “Araby. ” These are followed by a sequence of stories dealing with adolescence, “The Boarding House, ” “After the Race, ” and “Eveline. ” Three stories of mature life come next, “Clay, ” “Counterparts, ” and “A Painful Case. ” Finally the volume closes with a trio of stories devoted to public life, “Ivy Day in the Committee Room, ” “A Mother, ” and “Grace. ” Get the grade or your money back Plagiarism-free Delivered on timeGet the grade or your money back Plagiarism-free Delivered on timeDisclaimer: This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.
Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of UK Essays. Our Dissertation Writing service can help with everything from full dissertations to individual chapters. James Joyce himself wrote, I call the series Dubliners to betray the soul of that. . Paralysis which many consider a city. Joyce believed passionately that Irish society and culture had been frozen in place for centuries by two forces: the Roman Catholic Church and England. The result, at the turn of the twentieth century, was one of the poorest, least-developed countries in all of Western Europe. And so images of paralysis recur throughout the collection obsessively, relentlessly, and without mercy. In the first line of Sisters, and thus the first of Dubliners as a whole, it is revealed that Father Flynn has suffered a third and fatal stroke. The fear of that memory strengthens the resolve in Eveline to leave. But at the station, with the boat ready to leave, she is paralyzed. She cannot go the world is too frightening. Required fields are marked Required fields are marked * A young boy who is similar in age and temperament to those in The Sisters and An Encounter develops a crush on Mangan's sister, a girl who lives across the street. One evening she asks him if he plans to go to a bazaar (a fair organized, probably by a church, to raise money for charity) called Araby. The girl will be away on a retreat when the bazaar is held and therefore unable to attend. The boy promises that if he goes he will bring her something from Araby. The boy requests and receives permission to attend the bazaar on Saturday night. When Saturday night comes, however, his uncle returns home late, possibly having visited a pub after work. After much anguished waiting, the boy receives money for the bazaar, but by the time he arrives at Araby, it is too late. The event is shutting down for the night, and he does not have enough money to buy something nice for Mangan's sister anyway.
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The boy cries in frustration. Like An Encounter, Araby takes the form of a quest a journey in search of something precious or even sacred. Once again, the quest is ultimately in vain. In An Encounter, the Pigeon House was the object of the search here, it is Araby. Note the sense of something passionately sought, against the odds: We walked through the flaring streets, jostled by drunken men and bargaining women, amid the curses of labourers, the shrill litanies of shop-boys who stood on guard by the barrels of pigs' cheeks, the nasal chanting of street-singers. These noises converged in a single sensation of life for me: I imagined that I bore my chalice safely through a throng of foes. Although the boy ultimately reaches the bazaar, he arrives too late to buy Mangan's sister a decent gift there, and thus he may as well have stayed home: paralysis. Like the narrator of An Encounter, this protagonist knows that real adventures. Must be sought abroad. And yet, having set his sights on something exotic or at least exotic sounding ( Araby means Arabia, and the bazaar features a French-style caf ), the boy cannot get there in time for his experience to be worth anything. Why? Because his uncle, who holds the money that will make the excursion possible, has been out drinking. Some critics have suggested that Mangan's sister represents Ireland itself, and that therefore the boy's quest is made on behalf of his native country. Certainly, the bazaar seems to combine elements of the Catholic Church and England (the two entities that Joyce blamed most for his country's paralysis), just as Father Flynn's death did in The Sisters. As the church has hypnotized its adherents, Araby has cast an Eastern enchantment over the boy. Moreover, it is not some Freemason [Protestant] affair.
Church parishes often organized bazaars to raise money for charity. When the boy reaches the object of his quest, however, Araby (the church) is empty except for a woman and two men who speak with English accents. The woman speaks to the story's main character in a manner that is not encouraging and is clearly doing so out of a sense of duty. Later, the unnamed protagonist of the story dreams of a gray face that had died of paralysis, which is that of Father Flynn himself. This sets the tone for much of the material to follow. Paralysis, corruption, and death: In Dubliners, Joyce paints a grim picture of his hometown and its inhabitants. Keep in mind that he blamed the sorry state of affairs on outside forces England and the church rather than the Irish themselves. Looking back, the writer himself found the book insufficiently sympathetic to Dubliners' best qualities (hospitality, for example). He would address this deficiency in his masterpiece, Ulysses, which itself began as an aborted Dubliners story. Before that, however, he would tell the tale of a Dublin youth who vows to escape the paralysis, corruption, and death endemic to Dublin, a character based on Joyce himself whom he called Stephen Dedalus. Dedalus would be the main character of Joyce's thematically similar next book and his first novel: A Portrait of the Artist As a Young Man.
Stories that each centers around a different group of characters and reveals a new theme about life in the city. In Joyce's Araby, part of the “Dubliners” collection, a young and nameless narrator becomes enamored with his friend Mangan’s sister and attempts to win her affections by bringing a gift to her from the bazar that has come into town.