James Joyce’s “Clay” and “Eveline” were two stories impacted by the break with his family, church, and his country. In this paper I will give examples to show that my thesis is correct. I may also enlighten you by telling you the story of an excellent Irish writer. James Augustine Joyce lived from 1882 to 1941. He was an Irish novelist and poet, “whose psychological perceptions and innovative literary techniques make him one of the most influential writers of the twentieth century” (Encarta, 1). “His first book, Chamber Music, consists of thirty-six highly finished love poems. In his second work, Dubliners, a collection of fifteen short stories, Joyce dealt with episodes of his childhood and adolescence and with family and public life in Dublin, Ireland” (Encarta, 1). “Joyce employed symbols to create what he called an “epiphany”, the revelation of an emotional or personal truth” (Encarta, 1). “Using experimental techniques to convey the essential nature of realistic Daniels 2
situations, Joyce merged in his greatest works the literary traditions of realism, naturalism, and symbolism” (Encarta, 1). “In 1941, suffering from a perforated ulcer, Joyce dies in Zurich on January thirteenth” (Encarta, 1). “Joyce’s story, “Clay”, starts off on Halloween, which is the Celtic New Year’s Eve and Feast of the Dead. In Irish customs, it is a night of remembrance of the dead ancestors and anticipation of the various fortune telling games” (Masterplots, 1). The story is about Maria, a middle age spinster who works in the kitchen of a laundry established for the reform of prostitutes. She makes her way across the city of Dublin to the seasonal festivities at the home of her former father figure, Joe Donnelly. Joyce draws a character portrait, which conveys much of Maria’s past, present, and future....
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