Joyce's modernistic view of Dublin society permeates all of his writings. The Irish experiences account for a large portion of Joyce's writings. Stephen Dedalus is sometimes Joyce's pseudonym and represents Joyce and his life in Joyce's works. Joyce plays a crucial role in the modernist movement in literature. Some of the well known innovative techniques used by Joyce are symbolism, realism and stream-of consciousness. James Joyce's writings contain autobiographical matter and display his view of life in Dublin, Ireland with the use of symbolism, realism, and stream-of consciousness. Joyce was born into a middle-class, Catholic family in Dublin, Ireland on February 2, 1882 and wrote all his works about that city, even though he lived outside Ireland from 1904 on. The family's lack of financial prosperity forced them to move to an impoverished area in North Dublin. Joyce's parents still managed to send him to Clongowes Wood College, Belvedere College and later to the University College in Dublin, where Joyce became increasingly committed to language and literature as a champion of Modernism. He lived in poverty and obscurity until 1922. Joyce's concern with life among the Irish lower middle class is reflected in his works, such as Dubliners (Gifford 150). One writer said that Joyce revolutionized the treatment of plot and characterization in fiction (Gifford 20). Many critics consider William Shakespeare his only rival as a master of the English Language (Gifford 21). He died on January 13, 1941 in Zurich.
Joyce wrote a short-story collection, Dubliners, which was published in 1914. Many incidents and characters in Dubliners can be shown to have origin in real personalities whom Joyce would have known and to be based on experiences he and others had undergone (www.jamesjoyce.ie). This shows the novel's relation to Joyce's life. Joyce conveyed his view of everyday life in Dublin through this book. Joyce saw himself giving people "some kind of intellectual pleasure or spiritual enjoyment by converting the bread of every-day life into something that has a permanent artistic life of its own" (McCourt 52). Joyce's approach to Dubliners was complete - to show forth in "a style of scrupulous meanness" what he called "the significance of trivial things" and the paralytic subservience of Dubliners to family, Church, and State (McCourt 52). This book, like all of Joyce's works, contains autobiographical matter and is rooted in "an intensely accurate apprehension of the detail of the Dublin life" (www.jamesjoyce.ie). Joyce writes about the experience of modern urban life in Dublin.
The portrait of "a dismal, enervated provincial world" that Joyce draws in Dubliners must owe its realism in part to Joyce's admiration for plays by Ibsen, a Norwegian dramatist that influenced Joyce's writing (Phillips 16). Joyce has said that the book is "an attempt to represent certain aspects of the life of one of the European capitals" (Phillips 17). In Dubliners, Joyce chooses to re-embody the details of a Dublin life he knew intimately in a context where they would inter-relate with one another to compose an "interpretative statement about the city as a whole" (Brown xxxvi). This book establishes a vision of life in the capital which serves as a metaphor for the spiritual condition of the Irish nation as a whole. Dublin had endured almost a century of decline by the early 20th century. According to Terence Brown, money plays a distinctive role in Dubliners and Joyce concentrates his attention on a fairly narrow strand of Dublin society (xx). Dubliners remains a work of art that compels attention by "its controlling sense of the truths of human experience as its author discerned them in a defeated, colonial city" (Brown xlv). Joyce's "intention was to write a chapter of the moral history" of his country and he chose Dublin because the city seemed to him "the center of paralysis" (Joyce 15). The stories are given structural unity by their...
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