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Dubliners: Choose one story from the collection and discuss how Joyce depicts relationships between people of different generations.

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Introduction

Ruth Norris Dubliners: Choose one story from the collection and discuss how Joyce depicts relationships between people of different generations. In your answer you should: * Explain your own view of the treatment of the young by old people; * Look closely at the effects of Joyce's narrative methods and language; * Comment on how the story relates to the concerns and methods of the novel as a whole. In Eveline Joyce portrays two generations, namely Eveline and her parents. Unlike the narrators in the previous stories, Eveline is an adult but the entrapment of the narrators remains constant with her. The main treatment of the young is of Eveline by her father. Her father, an alcoholic, abuses his daughter, "Even now, though she was nineteen, she sometimes felt herself in danger of her father's violence. She knew it was that that had given her palpitations." He makes her work but takes away her wages to throw away on drink, saying that she would "squander" the money, having "no head". ...read more.

Middle

Her father was not so bad then; and besides, her mother was alive." The subject matter is more adolescent and the ideas of love and romance are introduced, having only previously being presented in the form of the boy's unrequited crush in Araby. However, Eveline seems to distance herself from everyone around her and does not appear to feel very much love. Although she seems very attached to the familiarity of home, she "knows" her family rather than "loves" them - "In her home anyway she had shelter and food; she had those whom she had known all her life." Equally, she does not appear to love Frank, but merely likes him - he was "very kind, manly, open hearted." Although this story marks a shift to a third person narrative, Joyce uses the technique of streams of consciousness to convey the narrators' thoughts. When Eveline has her epiphany, her sudden realisation of how terrible her life really is, this techinique is used: "Escape! ...read more.

Conclusion

Although she is terrified of ending up like her mother, whose "life of common place sacrifice closed in final craziness", she feels obliged to stay to face the same inevitable future of misery. There is also a strong element of fear, of her father and of her lover but predominantly of the unknown - life outside the safe misery of Dublin. The treatment of Eveline by her father, and to a lesser extent her work colleagues, is typical of the treatment of the young in Dubliners. In The Sisters, Araby, and An Encounter children are repressed and controlled by adults including parents, teachers and churchmen. Throughout the novel Joyce depicts trans-generational relationships in a negative light, with most of them being very unbalanced and unfair. In Eveline the father is controlling and ungrateful and uses his power to keep Eveline from escaping Dublin, in the hope of a happy future. The main theme of entrapment dominates this story with Eveline trapped by fear and duty in the stagnant Dublin, trapped in the claustrophobic confines of her home. ...read more.

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