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James Joyce. Every tale in the Dubliners collection alludes to the central theme of paralysis

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Rishi Seshadri Period 2 9/25/12 Dubliners Reflection Every tale in the Dubliners collection alludes to the central theme of paralysis. However, the idea of paralysis illustrated by James Joyce is somewhat ambiguous. This theme, overall, is the inhibition of a character from acting upon their conscience. As if a shadow creates an illusion of darkness or helplessness, this theme of paralysis of the individual is particularly prominent in "The Sisters" and "The Dead". The dialogue throughout the novel also emphasizes ambiguity. ...read more.


As the story opens, a young boy quickly discerns a strange sensation over the word "paralysis". "Every night as I gazed up at the window I said softly to myself the word paralysis. It had always sounded strangely in my ears?like the name of some maleficent and sinful being. It filled me with fear" (2). One cannot help but feel sensitive towards the boy. Seldom is known about him, yet Joyce's descriptions of the grim realities he faces in Ireland give the reader a reason to feel sympathetic towards him. ...read more.


After the character comes to this realization, they soon fall back to their prison of routine. It is a place where, emotionally, the character feels safe, but paralyzed. This feeling of helplessness stems from the odd relationships between the people of Dublin. No person feels as if they can trust another. Falling into this routine, the main characters in the novel shroud themselves in an illusion of trust. The characters believe they are in control of their future, when in reality, the people are at the whim of their future. In Dublin, life and death are little more than an unpleasant fact, and emotion amongst these people is nonexistent. ...read more.

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