Sample Essay for English 4950 Keycode: 2390
Paralysis in Dubliners A heavy theme found throughout the entirety of Dubliners is the feeling of paralysis that is felt by the characters in the stories. Reading the stories and analyzing them individually hints at the idea of paralysis but it is also easy to overlook it. Upon reading all of the stories of Dubliners, the idea of paralysis is a common theme. This feeling of paralysis in Dublin and Ireland as a whole is a feeling that Joyce was trying to show in this collection of short stories. This could be a feeling how he personally felt during his life in Ireland, or it can be a feeling that he viewed in other people that live there. Either way the idea of paralysis is an important theme in this collection and connects all of the stories together and gives a deep message about the mental state of Dublin. To begin examining the idea of paralysis in Joyce’s Dubliners, it is important to look at the time and place that Joyce came from. Joyce was writing this during the time of the Irish Literary revival headed by W.B. Yeats and Lady Gregory (Irish 1). This revival was started as a means to show that Ireland could be their own independent country and that they have their own culture independent of England. This was a type of rebellion against the British control of Ireland. Joyce was living in a time where British control was tearing at the hearts of the Irish and they wanted to just be themselves but they could not. This is why he wrote about their paralytic state of mind. They were being hindered to the point that they could not move forward but remained idle making them paralyzed. The first story in Dubliners is “The Sisters” and is about a priest who died. He was friends with a young boy and Father Flynn had two sisters that told their accounts of their brother giving this story its title. In the very first paragraph of the story is the word paralysis. “Every night as I gazed up at the window I said softly...
“Irish Literary Renaissance.” Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, 2011. Web. Apr. 27, 2011. . Joyce, James. Dubliners: A Norton Critical Edition. Ed. Margot Norris. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2006 Rice, Thomas Jackson. “Paradigm lost: ‘Grace’ and the arrangement of Dubliners.” Studies in Short Fiction 32.3 (1995): 405. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 27 Apr. 2011.
Student essay used with permission of Jonathan Lampe.
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