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

In "A Painful Case," by James Joyce, the central character is cold, intellectual, and emotionless. The narrator of this story adopts a pessimistic and scathingly negative view of the central character, Mr. Duffy.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Duffy: The Real 'Painful Case' In "A Painful Case," by James Joyce, the central character is cold, intellectual, and emotionless. The narrator of this story adopts a pessimistic and scathingly negative view of the central character, Mr. Duffy. Duffy is, figuratively speaking, dead. He is dead to the world of passionate emotions that make others 'alive,' and he shuns most contact with other humans, especially emotional and intimate contact. He argues that 'every bond is a bond of sorrow,' and uses this as justification for not engaging in any relationships of an intimate nature. He has 'neither companions nor friends, church nor creed.' Duffy's room is very telling of his personality as well. "The lofty walls of his uncarpeted room were free from pictures" (Joyce, 118). It is customary to put up pictures in one's home of one's family or friends, but Duffy does not associate with either. ...read more.

Middle

His soul's companion!" (Joyce, 126-127) The extent of Duffy's aloof fear of intimacy is such that even when Mrs. Sinico dies the only thing he can think about is how her death cheapened him. Eventually, Duffy realizes that 'he had withheld life from her,' and 'he had sentenced her to death.' He realizes that he, at least in large part, had been responsible for her descent, alcoholism, and eventual suicide. He left her to loneliness when he stopped seeing her, and that loneliness was what prompted her death. "Now that she was gone he realized how lonely her life must have been, sitting night after night alone in that room" (Joyce, 128). With the realization that he was responsible for Sinico's death, Duffy realizes that he too will die someday, and, like Mrs. ...read more.

Conclusion

Later, he sees a goods train emerging from the Knightsbridge station, and imagines the 'laborious drone of the engine reiterating the syllables of her name.' In this manner he personifies her spirit with the train. After the train leaves, so does his feeling that she is still there next to him; after the train leaves he feels utterly alone again. "He listened again: perfectly silent. He felt that he was alone." Duffy dismisses Sinico's spirit, and by dismissing her, he also dismisses any hope he had of learning to live. In this manner the narrator provides a pessimistic view of Duffy, while showing the reader how Duffy has little hope of learning to feel passion even after Sinico's death. The newspaper refers to Mrs. Sinico's death as 'a most painful case.' However, the title of the story really refers to Mr. Duffy. He is, in fact, the real painful case. ...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 Carol Ann Duffy 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 Carol Ann Duffy essays

  1. How does Swindells effectively create and integrate the characters of Link and Shelter into ...

    "Discharged on medical grounds. And there's nothing wrong with me". In fact he seems to be in denial and we question whether he has a mental rather than physical illness. Swindells paints a socio-political background on which he sets his novel.

  2. Commentary on Dorothy Parker's "Mr. Durant".

    This shows another theme, the ingenuity of Mrs. Durant who blindly believes everything her husband tells her. The relationships between these two characters seem very cold and unpleasant, not only because there is no agreement and understanding between this couples there is no evince of affection as well.

  1. In both 'The Boy Without a Name' by Allan Ahlberg and 'Back in the ...

    as "red" and "raw" also shows the sympathy that he has for the boy now. It expresses how bad the boy's medical condition was and how serious it was, it is a key comparison to the treatment that the boy received by his peers.

  2. From your reading of 'The Fenland Chronicle' discuss the farmers view of what life ...

    This is shown with phrases such as "she were eleven year old", showing confusion between the singular and plural. Chatty, colloquial language is also used, which is shown in accented, abbreviated terms such as "I 'ad" and "never did know", with an anecdotal style to keep the attention of the reader.

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