• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

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?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

2 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? The stories 'An Encounter' and 'Sisters' contain objective viewpoints about the older generation, and are told from the perspective of a young boy. There is the implication in both stories that the older generation is associated with religion which plays a paralysing role in the society of Dublin. The role of the encounter between the different age groups demonstrates the conflict of belief that occurs between young children growing up, forming their own opinions and beliefs, and their elders, who are trying to impress attitudes and traditions on them that seem unnatural to them. There is a suggestion that its role is also representative of the turmoil which Catholic Ireland found itself in during this period. The young boy, from whose perspective we see the elder generation, does not appear to hold the respect he ought to for his elders. ...read more.

Middle

The man in 'An Encounter', also representing religion does not give a good impression of this central aspect of Irish society, he is perverted and contradictory in his words, 'he seemed to have forgotten his recent liberalism...he would whip a boy... he would love that.' One role of this encounter is to demonstrate the confusion that the boy feels about religion, before his eyes he sees contradiction in a religious figure, perverted and unnerving contradiction at that, which can only serve to add yet more doubt to his wavering faith. In both scenarios the narrator feels relieved when he escapes his elders whom he finds unnerving, indeed the epiphany in 'Sisters' is the moment where he realises that he feels 'a sensation of freedom...by his death.' In the same way in 'An Encounter' the boy seizes the first available moment to escape from the strange man, 'I stood up abruptly...saying that I was obliged to go.' There is an urgency to get away from these mysterious characters although this is not apparent to the boy in the context of Father Flynn until he is involuntarily released by his death. ...read more.

Conclusion

The encounters used by Joyce in these two stories play conflicting roles, and contradiction is evident even within the same story; the boy describes a sense of anxiety to escape from his elders, yet expresses guilt at these feelings. He feels trapped by religion, yet sympathises with a priest about the constraints it makes on society, surprising as such a figure should be the embodiment of the restriction he finds it hard to abide by. The distance expressed both in terms of age and in opinion shows how the boy feels controlled by a generation he cannot relate to. This conveys a sense of paralysis affecting the younger generation of Ireland, a generation controlled by its elders and their religion, a religion which controls rather than directs its pupils. The encounters that make up such an important part of the two stories serve to demonstrate the alienation the children of Ireland feel towards their elders and their social situation: there simply is not the same strength of feeling towards religion in their lives, an empowering force on their lives and in Dublin. Victoria Savage LVI September 2003 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level James Joyce section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level James Joyce essays

  1. Depiction of childhood in 'Dubliners'

    Old Cotter's meaning here is not explicitly clear it can be argued that this is a reference to the sexual misdemeanours which are often linked to Catholic priests - something which readers can also relate to in contemporary context. It is ironic that at the time Joyce was writing 'Dubliners'

  2. Discuss Joyce’s treatment of the theme of paralysis in the stories on childhood in ...

    Dublin is the one of the central causes of paralysis in Dubliners, as its dull atmosphere has such an effect on people. Another core source of paralysis is through religion, which can easily be seen in the stories about childhood.

  1. An analytical study of 'The Pit and The Pendulum', 'An Encounter' and 'The Pedestrian', ...

    Joyce is very keen to exploit the idea of circularity in his work and in this piece, the 'monotonous' voice of the antagonist and the way his voice 'slowly circles round and round in the same orbit', help to achieve the spellbinding quality of the man.

  2. Epiphanies in the maturity section of Dubliners

    Farrington sees liberation from such monotonous activity in the warmth and drink of a pub, but his experiences there only continue the routine and only increase his anger. He repeats the story of the confrontation with his boss to his friends, who then also repeat it.

  1. Discuss Joyce's treatment of women in Dubliners, Portrait and selected chapters of Ulysses.

    pacifiers, while the two men seem to be arguing for something freer and more noble. Women in Portrait are depicted as nuns, wives or prostitutes, but there is also the object of purity, beings capable of redeeming others from sins, particularly those of the flesh.

  2. James Joyce: An Exhaustion at the

    contains four words that deal with the sense of sight: gazing, darkness, saw, and eyes. A commencement and denouncement of darkness. In introduction to and conclusion to: darkness. The first sentence advises that the street J-per lived on was "blind."

  1. From your reading of the two stories in the 'Childhood' section of Dubliners how ...

    Instead he sits in the corner of the room and says nothing. This shows an inbuilt respect for the older generation In both stories the illusion to the older generation seems to be strongly connected with religion. "Paralysis. I had always sounded strangely in my ears, like the word gnomon."

  2. Joyce Intended Dubliners to betray the soul of that paralysis which many consider a ...

    to identify the narrator of the story with the young Joyce who had a reputation as a pious boy? [11]. ?The Sisters? can be said to propagate this ?ambivalence?. Not only does Joyce choose to deliberately leave the young boy?s ?sensation of freedom? unexplained to us as readers, he exaggerates

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work