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Dubliners: 'The stories are variations on the theme of rebellion from the Dublin environment and entrapment within it.' Discuss how these themes (rebellion/entrapment) are explored in at least THREE of the stories in the collection.

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Introduction

Dubliners: 'The stories are variations on the theme of rebellion from the Dublin environment and entrapment within it.' Discuss how these themes (rebellion/entrapment) are explored in at least THREE of the stories in the collection. Throughout Dubliners the themes of rebellion from the Dublin environment and entrapment within it occur in each story. One story where the protagonists are particularly trapped is Two gallants where Corley and Lenehan are stuck in a vicious cycle involving easy money for drink and easy women for sex, their rebellion from the mundane life of Dublin. Similarly, Gallaher in A Little Cloud is an immoral character but he has escaped Dublin ans by contrast, Little Chandler is trapped with an unhappy marriage and thwarted ambition. The title of Two Gallants is highly ironic, with neither of the central characters being close to gallant, in fact they are the least respectable in the entire collection. ...read more.

Middle

But he found something mean in it." He is in awe of Gallaher who has experienced and seen the world outside Dublin; Gallaher rebelled against Dublin by escaping. Though he is no longer trapped in the city, like the protagonists in Two Gallants, he is another example of arrested development, trapped instead in the adolescent stage of his life. Little Chandler is similarly in a state of arrested development with his child-like characteristics including his hands, which are "white and small", also "his voice was quiet...and when he smiled you caught a glimpse of a row of childish white teeth." Little Chandler has his own rebellion at the end of the story when he finds a disturbing outlet for his frustration. Joyce uses the technique of the interior monologue to convey Little Chandler's great anger: "It was useless, useless! He was a prisoner for life. His arms trembled with anger and suddenly bending to the child's face he shouted: 'Stop!'" ...read more.

Conclusion

She fears the unknown, preferring to embrace a future of certain misery than an uncertain pursuit of happiness: "It was hard work - a hard life - but now that she was about to leave it she did not find it a wholly undesirable life." Each story in the collection contains reference to either rebellion or entrapment, implying Joyce's anti-Dublin opinions. It is made clear that without leaving Ireland's capital, it is impossible to prosper or advance, a prime example being the Two Gallants' arrested development or Little Chandler's and Farrington's increasing frustration resulting in violence. Joyce explores these central themes in detail and uses the ideas of rebellion and frustration to comment on the disparity of Dublin, reiterating repeatedly that people become trapped: "You could do nothing in Dublin". Gallaher, however has achieved escape and although Chandler initially elevates him, his vulgarity is exposed leaving the reader uncertain as to whether true success, even outside Dublin, is possible for the 'Dubliners'. ...read more.

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