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Symbolization of Dublin Life.

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Symbolization of Dublin Life "Dubliners," a collection of 15 short stories, is Joyce's second work. In these stories he deals progressively with crucial episodes of childhood, adolescence, young adulthood, maturity, family life, and public life in Dublin. From the short stories in "Dubliners," it can be seen that there are similar symbolization of Dublin life appearing throughout each of the stories. We will look up what kind of symbolization of Dublin life was made and ultimately what Joyce intended to show us with this. Firstly, Dublin is a dull place to live. In "Eveline," a man from Belfast buys a field, which Eveline used to play in as a child, and builds houses on it. However, the houses he builds are unlike the "little brown houses," and they have "bright bricks with shining roofs." (20) The houses symbolize the dullness of Dublin whereas this man from Belfast is more "colorful" and "exciting," which is symbolized by the houses he builds. The boys in "An Encounter" want to escape their monotonous lives. By means of escaping, they read books about the "Wild West" and play games like "Cowboys and Indians." The summer holidays are approaching when the boys make up their minds to "break out of the weariness of school-life for one day at least." (9) The boys plan a "day's miching" to escape their dull lives and strict teachers. ...read more.


Poverty does not necessarily mean desperation but also means hope. Basically, the poor manage to get along dreaming of an idealistic life. Whether we are poor or not, we also dream of a better life than the one we have now. However, we never realize if we really reach the life we have dreamt of and eventually dream of another better life. This seems really ironic, but Joyce tried to show us that it always happens in our real lives. Namely, the real poverty is in our minds. Thirdly, Joyce paints a very negative picture of Dublin life for the characters that live in. The city itself and religion paralyze them. Joyce actually says of "Dubliners": "James Joyce calls the series 'Dubliners' to portray the soul of that hemiplegia or paralysis, which many consider a city." ("An Introduction to James Joyce's Dubliners") It is a theme, which is introduced right at the beginning and runs throughout the book. But there is hardly a short story, which is untouched by this theme. Basically, the paralysis is physical, but he deals with many other types of paralysis. At the beginning of "Eveline," he writes: "She sat at the window watching the evening invade the avenue... She was tired." (20) This is physical paralysis. Eveline is sitting at the window, and she is not moving but watching because she is tired. ...read more.


Joyce might want the readers to know that by showing a variety of paralysis that could possibly exist and each character's cumbersome process to get over it. Overall, Joyce's characters try to find ways to escape their everyday mundane lives like the boys in "An encounter" through books about the "Wild West"; Farrington in "Counterparts" escapes his life and the job that he hates through drinking alcohol like Little Chandler in "A Little Cloud." Eveline tries to escape with Frank to Buenos Ayres, but when it comes down to it, Dublin and her life have such a strong hold on her that she cannot leave. This seems to be true for all the characters in these short stories. Actually, none of them gets out of Dublin, and they all carry on with their mundane lives. What does all this implicate to us? Lastly, we get to know Dublin is not the glamorous and spectacular city that we thought and expected, and Joyce shows us the real Dublin. In other words, Dublin life represents the real life we live in. Joyce tried to make us realize that there is neither Utopia nor Heaven in our real lives and that we must deal with our real and present lives because even though we do reach the idealistic life we have dreamt of, we cannot realize we are already there. Our lives always try us out in many different ways - physically, professionally, verbally, romantically, and religiously. ...read more.

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