James Joyce's "Dubliners"
Throughout James Joyce’s “Dubliners” there are four major themes that are all very connected these are regret, realization, self hatred and Moral paralysis, witch is represented with the actual physical paralysis of Father Flynn in “The Sisters”. In this paper I intend to explore the different paths and contours of these themes in the four stories where I think they are most prevalent ,and which I most enjoyed “Araby”, “Eveline”, “The Boarding House”, and “A Little Cloud”.
The story of “Araby” is that of a young boy probably about the age of adolescence who is having his first crush on his friends sister. Although the boy seems to have no intention of realistically perusing the situation when the girl mentions that there is a fair she wanted to go to but would be unable to attend he offers to pick her up a gift at the fair. It is this situation that leads to the climax. After days of waiting and defeating great odds (his uncle coming home in time to give him money)what seemed like forever to the boy finally passed and he made it to the fair. Right from the start of the fair things looked bad all the booths where closing and his hopes of getting a nice gift where slim As the boy was searching for a gift he over heard two men flirting with a girl who worked in one of the booths. When the girl saw him listening she asked him in a tone that was not encouraging if he would like to buy by any thing to witch he replied “no thank you” (Joyce.P.27). The boy then walked away the lights went out and “Gazing up into the darkness I saw my self as a creature driven and derided by vanity: and my eyes burned with anguish and anger.”(Joyce.P.27) This is how the story ends. The boy is so sickened with himself and with what was making him happy before. Because of his encounter the boy comes to a new realization about the crush he had and actually hates himself for having had it. Because of his hatred for himself which may also be do to his inability to actually by the gift the boy is left with a moral paralysis since he is stuck and cant move on. Of course “time heals all wounds” and the boy should be able to eventually move on.
“Eveline” is a short story about a girl who’s mother died and is now left with what she feels is the responsibility of taking care of the family. In the story she meets a sailor named frank and we learn she is trying to decide weather or not to run off with him or stay at home with her father who’s violence she has recently been fearing. To all of us reading the story the choice is clear, Eveline has no reason to stay home. Frank on the other hand seems like a great guy. Her inability too choose going with Frank or even show him any signs of recognition as seen here “Her eyes gave him no signs of love or farewell or recognition.”(Joyce P.33)shows a clear moral paralysis. Eveline in contrast to most of the other main characters shows no realization about what she has learned, has learned nothing...