What impression of Dublin and its people does James Joyce give in his
‘Dubliners’ is a book written by controversial Irish writer James
Joyce, Dubliners was published in 1914 although the various stories in
it were actually written between 1904 and 1907. James Joyce despised
his homeland and every thing about it; he rejected Christianity, his
family and Ireland, his country. In 1904, James left Ireland to live
in Switzerland where he began to write Dubliners. James also rejected
Irish literature and subsequently his favourite writers were Chekov, a
Russian writer, Ibsen, a Norwegian writer and Zola, a French writer.
James’ hero was Charles Parnell, who was an Irish politician; James
liked the idea of Home rule for the Irish but sadly, for him Parnell
did not achieve Home rule.
All of the streets mentioned in ‘Araby’ are real streets in Dublin.
James Joyce begins ‘Araby’ by saying that North Richmond Street is
‘blind’, when you enter a cal de sac there’s no escape, your trapped
in, James Joyce implies that there’s no vision on all of Dublin’s
streets and that there’s no escape from them. The Christian Brother’s
School mention in ‘Araby’ is a school for poor children, ‘set the boys
free’, James says that the children are imprisoned in the school;
again Dublins people are trapped in. All of Dublin’s streets are made
to sound dirty and derelict. The empty house was neglected and not
cared for, there is a damp atmosphere inside of the house and there is
rubbish all over the house. James Joyce only makes negative comments
about Dublin and implies that the city have no culture or love of
literature, we see this because it the empty house there are three
books found. The first one is a religious novel, ‘The Abbot’, the
second book; ‘The Devout Communicant’ is on how to receive Holy
Communion well and the third book, ‘The Memoirs of Vidocq’ is about
the life story of a thief. James suggests that the Church is only
after your money. The Garden in the house represents the Garden of
Eden, which is the source of sin and evil. ‘Rusty bicycle-pump’, a
pump is used to pump the tyres in a car and because the pump is rusty
the car wheels can’t be pumped up, and you can’t go anywhere, again
James puts forward that there’s just no escape form Dublin.
Alternatively, James might have meant the pump represented Satan in
the form of a snake, as the pump is long and cylindrical like a snake.
In addition, he may have suggested that the ‘rusty pump’ symbolizes
the heart pump, and as the pump is rusty, the heart is not functioning
properly and there is n love or life in Dublin. The priest who lived
in the now deserted house only gave away his possessions when he was
dead, so he was not so ‘charitable’ while he was alive; again, James
signifies that the Church is only after your money.
‘Araby’ is set in the winter when it is cold, dark, dull, gloomy and
this had a depressing effect, ‘the houses had grown sombre’,...