Feminism in Dubliners
Mrs. Atkins; English A3
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
James Joyce’s book of short stories entitled Dubliners examines feminism and the role of women in Irish society. The author is ahead of his time by bringing women to the forefront of his stories and using them to show major roles and flaws in Irish society, specifically in “Eveline” and “The Boarding House”. James Joyce portrays women as victims who are forced to assume a leading and somewhat patriarchal role in their families. He uses them to show the paralysis of his native land Ireland, and the disruption in social order that is caused by the constant cycle of abuse that he finds commonplace in Ireland. Joyce is trying to end the Victorian and archaic view of women in order to remove the constraints which paralyze them, and bring Ireland into a more progressive era. Although James Joyce portrays women as victims, he really is trying to force Ireland and all of his readers, to address the cruel and unjust treatment of women in a backwards society. Joyce furthers his pro-feministic views by portraying women in a realistic way. His reflection of reality does not imply that he agrees with the reality, because the entire book is a critical exposition of society in Ireland, as well as the mental and political paralysis of its people. Joyce’s portrayal of reality is meant to be a sort of “bitter medicine” for the social and moral disease that paralyzes the female society. His way of representing females is truthful, and causes the problem of inequality to stand prominently in his reader’s minds. He portrays them in a way that reflects reality, not in the misguided and ignorant way that eighteenth century society viewed them. His readers are forced to realize the cruel actuality that women endure, which is how he gets his pro-feminist views across, and in a sense, forces an epiphany onto his readers. In “Eveline”, the narrator is speaking of a young lady whose life is bereft of happiness...
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