Dubliners By James Joyce

Joyce said that in "Dubliners" his intention was "to write a
chapter in the moral history of my country and I chose Dublin for the scene
because the city seemed to me the centre of paralysis".The 15 stories which
make up the collection are studies on the decay and banality of lower
middle-class urban life and the paralysis to which Joyce refers is both
intellectual and moral.The characters who appear in the stories lead uneventual
and frustrated lives,which are described through carefully chosen detaila.The
fact that there is very little action points again to the paralysis and monotony
of life in a modern city.The stories are divided into 4 groups.As Joyce
explained:"I have tried to present (Dubin\'s paralysis) under four of its
aspects:childhood,adolescence,maturity and public life.The stories are arranged
in this order.". The sisters After the race An encounter *** CHILDHOOD The
boarding house *** ADOLESCENCE Araby Eveline Two gallants A little cloud Ivy day
in the committee room Clay A mother *** PUBLIC LIFE Counterparts *** MATURE LIFE

Grace A painful case And then the last story,"The dead",is
longer,subtler and it can be cosidered as Joyce\'s 1st masterpiece. Themes

Though,at first glance,the stories seem simply to be realistic,objective
descriptions of everyday life,they are psychologically eventful.The
psychological action often takes the form of an EPIPHANY in which a commonplace
action or object brings a character an unexpected revelation truth and a deep
understanding of life. The chief theme whcih holds the 15 stories together is
the failure to find a way out from PARALYSIS,both physical and moral,linked to
religion,politics and culture.Dublin is the heart of this paralysis and all
citizens are victims.The moral center of Dubliners,however,is not paralysis
alone but the revelation of paralysis to its victims.Each character comes to a
knowledge,an awareness of his own condition and for a moment he\'s able to see
with clarity what is the best way to make all his/her dreams and hopes come
true.But each character is always defeated from the environment,which shows to
possess more strenght.That\'s why we have the impression of inactivity,almost
immobility.The idea of a moral paralysis is expressed sometimes in terms of
physical arrest,in a real weakening of characters\' impulse and ability to move
far or in the right direction because of their frustation or their complete lack
of orientation.Paralysed by boredom and anguish the characters try in vain to
escape from the oppressive morale imposed by the materialistic society and they
often look for love because love is the right way to escape from solitude and
the sense of enclosure they experience. Most of the short stories,though, end
with a defeat and a consequential frustration of the character.Very often it\'s a
banal situation,a trivial gesture or sight which cause the self realization of
the characters about their no-way-out lives.That sudden awareness is properly
called "epiphany",which is exactly "the sudden revelation of a
hidden reality thriugh casual words or events".When Joyce\'s
"heroes" realize their condition we become aware that the revelation
of Dublin to its citizens reveals our world and ourselves. Characters The
characters are also unable to relate successully either to each other or with
the world; if Dubliners are paralysed in their relationships, their paralysis is
often of a sexual nature. Narrative technique The omniscient narrator and the
single point of view are rejected: each story is told from the perspective of a
character.Narrated monolgue, in the form of indirect thought and often of free
indirect thought,is widely used:it consists in the presentation of the
protagonist\'s thoughts through limited mediation of the narrator and allows the
reader to acquire direct knowledge of the character. Language The linguistic
register is varied, since the language used in all the stories suits the age,the
social class and the role of the characters,though most of the times the
language is realistic. Historical hints The series of short stories included in
dubliners depict a broken morale in and around the city of Dublin.The early

1900\'s marked a time of disheartened spirits not only in Dublin but all of

Ireland.England still clutched Ireland under its own control, that\'s the main
reason which made citizens bitter and dismayed.It wasn\'t until 1922 that Ireland
freed itself from England.Up until that time,Ireland was occupied and ruled from

Britain.The occupation had begun hundreds of years before,but from the end of
the 18th century,a distinct Irish nationalism began to evolve.From 1801
onwards,Ireland had no Parliament of its own.It was ruled by the Parliament in

Britain whcih consisted of the House of Commons and House of Lords.Meanwhile,in
the 1840\'s,a small group formed out of the Young Ireland movement.The
leader,Thomas Davis,expressed a concept of nationality embracing all who lived
in Ireland regardless of creed or