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AS and A Level: James Joyce

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  1. A Portrait of the Artist As a Young Man, James Joyce and Myth of Daedalus and Icarus

    He devised two pairs of wings, and father and son immediately took flight from Crete. Daedalus warned his impetuous son not to fly too high lest the heat of the sun melt the glue and his wings fall off. But Icarus, filled with a sense of power in his flight, disregarded his father's commands and soon his wings, heated by the sun, fell off, and he plunged into the sea, the waters closing over him. Daedalus means "the artful craftsman." He symbolizes man's inventiveness and is credited with other inventions, such as the ax and the saw, in addition to human flight.

    • Word count: 696
  2. Discuss the idea of disappointment in ‘Araby’ and ‘An Encounter’.

    'An Encounter' is the story of two boys who make an attempt to play truant from school. They are influenced by tales of adventure of the Wild West, 'The adventures related in the literature of the Wild West were remote from my nature but, at least, they opened doors of escape.' and so try to create their own adventure. There escape is well planned and so they have very high expectations of what their day will be like. Their planned trip is also against their parents wishes and so there is an element of risk evolved, which would make the trip much more exciting and adventurous.

    • Word count: 879
  3. Explore Joyce’s treatment of Epiphanies in some of the stories you have studied.

    Mahony freely comments: "Come along. I knew Fatty'd funk it". When the two boys, after a long voyage, still haven't arrived at their destination, they agree to give up their initial plan and just to rest some time on a bench in a field. After a few calm minutes Mahony and the Narrator discover an older man approaching at the far end of the field, "shabbily dressed" and walking "with one hand upon his hip" and a stick in the other hand. Having arrived at the bench with the two young boys on it, he wishes a good-day and starts to talk about the weather.

    • Word count: 1503
  4. Dubliners - ‘Nothing is unnecessary, and nothing is spelled out; we are expected to supply the missing pieces ourselves.’

    'I wouldn't like children of mine to have too much to say to a man like that'. Here Old Cotter a friend of the boy's uncle gives his opinion of the priest. In this it has overtones of a warning as if the priest is a paedophile. Here the reader is expected to 'supply the missing pieces.' In the short story not everything is instantly apparent. They require the reader to interpret for themselves what is going on. In the first story a priest dies instead of focusing on the detail of how he died Joyce only talks of the priests 'third stroke.'

    • Word count: 707
  5. Consider the concept of Paralysis in Dubliners

    But clearer still is the book's underlying theme of paralysis. This theme is given in several forms, physical, emotional, sexual and social to name but a few. It is this 'base' theme that I shall be exploring in my essay. "There was no hope for him this time, it was his third stroke." This is the opening sentence of 'the sisters,' and gives the idea of a priest being physically paralysed after a stroke. This gives a sense of despair, no hope for a man who has been decapitated by paralysis.

    • Word count: 811
  6. Malachi’s Cove and Eveline

    And the pot was full of floating masses, large treasures of seaweed which were thrown to a fro upon its surface" Line 321 This evil is later the setting for two people to fall in love! At low tide the beach stretches two hundred yards out, but once the tide is in there isn't much manoeuvrability, with Northwest winds bringing extra seaweed for Mally to collect and sell. At one stage the author describes the cove: "...The white curling waves were cresting and breaking themselves with violence, and the wind was howling among the caverns..."

    • Word count: 1497
  7. Joyce Intended Dubliners to betray the soul of that paralysis which many consider a city and aims to do this through his nicely polished looking glass. How is this portrayal of Ireland achieved in the texts you have studied?

    Maybe a bit like the people of my own generation in Ireland today? - Brian Friel [3]. It seems apparent that both Joyce and Friel aim to explore aspects of Ireland that are dear to them, however it seems that where Joyce ?intended to betray the soul of that paralysis?, Friel?s incentive was much rather due to ?our need for a past, for memories, and our need to constantly revisit and re-invent those memories" [4]. Joyce?s vivid naturalism ("driven and derided by vanity?)

    • Word count: 2766

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