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From your reading of the two stories in the 'Childhood' section of Dubliners how is the encounter between different generations portrayed and what do you think is its role?

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Introduction

From your reading of the two stories in the 'Childhood' section of Dubliners how is the encounter between different generations portrayed and what do you think is its role? In the Dubliner's, a collection of short stories, by James Joyce the interaction of different generations is portrayed in a number of different ways. In my essay I am going to explore the language Joyce uses to convey different feelings and discuss how these relationships affect the story and in the wider picture how they could affect the rest of the book. I am going to focuses on the first two stories, The Sisters and An Encounter. This section of the book centres on childhood. Dubliner's depicts a broken morale in and around the city of Dublin. This is illustrated in The Sisters by the use of the character of Old Cotter. He is the embodiment of Dublin in the eyes of the narrator. The first opinion on Old Cotter is as a, "Tiresome old fool," he is described in a similar way again later in the book as a, "Tiresome old red-nosed imbecile!" ...read more.

Middle

The older age group may be put hand in hand with religion by Joyce because they are not as free minded as the younger ones. This is conveyed by Joyce's constant references to escaping to different lands. In The Sisters the narrator alludes to a dream of Persia and the boys in an An Encounter looked in the dock at the ship which was supposedly a "Norwegian vessel." The Main focus of both Joyce's stories is an older person. In The Sisters it is a priest and in An Encounter it is the man who they meet in the field. Both are shrouded in mystery. This may represent the fact that Joyce finds older people mysterious in their devotion to religion. However, the narrators in the stories experience an affinity with the older character and learn from them, An Encounter shows the narrator being taught about girls by the strange man and eventually at the end of the story realises that along with the older man he too does not like his friend Mahoney. ...read more.

Conclusion

The experience of the older men lead both the boys to their epiphany. In The Sisters that being that in the death of the man the binds of religion have been loosened a little and in An Encounter the boy realises that despite the mans odd ideas about little boys and girls the narrator agrees with the man that he does not like his friend. Finally, both stories display conflict between the generations. However, a trait similar to both is that the narrator in each story experiences a kinship with an older character. This may be common of Joyce's childhood section as a way of showing that children are keen to learn and it is the job of those in authority to do this. Taking this into consideration, I believe that as the characters grow up through the book, the relationship between the old and young will start to be assessed from a different angle. In the first two stories in the book opinions are passed on the older generation by the younger ones. In the final stories it will be visa versa. Lucy Rands LVI 07/05/2007 ...read more.

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