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Dubliners, The Sisters

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Introduction

Dubliners, The Sisters HOW IS 'THE SISTERS' AN IDEAL STORY WITH WHICH TO OPEN 'DUBLINERS'? HOW IS IT LESS THAN IDEAL? James Joyce sets all his work in the Dublin city. Dublin itself is almost like a character in these stories; due to the great use of slang, "there was something uncanny about him" and "while my aunt was ladling". 'The Sisters' along with the next two stories are taken from Joyce's personal memories. In the first three stories Joyce emphasises on certain themes, in which the stories deal with childhood, the central character is 'I', who is also the narrator of the stories (he tells the story). However the 'I' is an important factor in Dubliners as the forth story changes to 'she'. The 'I' talks about significant experiences in his childhood. The first story is an ideal opening in 'Dubliners'. 'The Sisters' deals with death, clearly Joyce's intention of creating such 'darkness' and 'sadness' in the opening of this novel is to transmit the experience of the reader to somebody else; the revealing truth of life and death. ...read more.

Middle

When the priest goes mad in 'The Sisters', it is because he lost faith, which suggests faithlessness and corruptness of the church. Isolation again is an important theme in this first story. Many of the central characters e.g. the boy, clearly feels isolated. There is no one who is truly a friend to them. They feel set apart, outsiders and do not really confide their true feelings to anyone. Again there is a sense of loneliness (another theme). Many of the characters wish to escape, which is another theme in this story. The boy wants to escape to his 'exotic fair', with a girl he loves, but she can't go so he has to go alone. This story is an ideal opening for the 12 stories as it is hear we reinforce this sense of quietness, in which the narrators of the later stories adopt. From this story Joyce teaches us that it is possible for a person to observe his or her own experience from the outside. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is why I feel that 'The Sisters' is an ideal opening in 'Dubliners'. James Joyce often structures his stories in three sections and often combines descriptions of action and place with his use of the interior monologue, which are the thoughts running on in a characters head, so that we move into the story from inner to outer and back again. My view of the titles significance is that of symbolism. The title contrasts the relationship of death, that of a close relationship between sisters. However, the overall picture of Dublin, which this story portrays, is of women either trapped or finding some slightly immoral way of succeeding, and of men who in general are also trapped in dreary often unhappy situations. Within this overall scheme Joyce give a subtle psychological insight into a whole range of different characters of varying ages. 'The Sisters' contributes like a piece in a mosaic to the overall picture that he portrays of Dublin life, which makes the short story ideal to the opening of 'Dubliners'. * Word Count, 1039 ...read more.

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