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James Joyce, Dubliners Reading

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Ashley I am currently reading Dubliners and I am curious as to how others are viewing the stories that are found within. Everyone reads stories differently. Some can relate to the stories of youth verses the stories about death based on your own experience. Just as those who live in a different economic situation or location on the map. I am trying to gauge others reactions to James Joyce's stories and their own readings of them.

So did you have a story that stood out to you? If so why? How did it affect you? Do you think you read Dubliners different than other books?

Andy Pronti A story that stood out to me was the last one of the collection; The Dead. This is probably because I just saw the play at the Irish Theatre in my town this past December. I really enjoyed the play and then went out and bought this collection.

Ashley Two stories from the collection stand out to me. One of them is "Sisters". When I first read the story I was very confused. I wasn't really sure what to make of it. I kept thinking about it and tried to determine what the meaning of the story was. I am still not completely certain I understand it but this is what I can come up with: the story is not really about the sisters but more of the boy. It is told through his eyes. He seems to be feeling guilty about his friend that has passed away because he did not visit him at the end. He seems confused as well as to what exactly was going on with this former pastor. I think it is a story about a boy who is striving to deal with death and loss but unable to fully understand everything about it.

The other story that stood out to me was "Eveline". I think the reason why it stands out was because I was very upset at the end. I wanted the girl to go off with Frank. I didn't want her to return to her father. I felt that she deserved happiness. But now thinking about it I realize that perhaps she would not have been happy with Frank. She didn't seem to really love him but was using himn to escape from her situation. I think at the end she realized that she was needed at her house with her father and she was ok with that. I think once she was able to accept her father she could learn to be happy.

message 4: by Red (new) - rated it 4 stars

Red Haircrow "The Dead" is my favorite in the collection, perhaps because I remember a special night in Ireland I spent which was so very like the ending sentences. I also liked the film version.

message 5: by Gordon (last edited Nov 22, 2011 02:30PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Gordon The two that stand out for me are A Painful Case and The Dead. The central theme of the book is stagnation: Mr Duffy's decision not to step outside the orderly world he knows, along with Gabriel's failure to break out of his (as well as discovering that he doesn't really know the people closest to him), summarizes how narrow our outlooks can be and how frightening it can be to face the unfamiliar (or even to look too closely at the familiar).

Hisham Alem I Like the struggle of thoughts in the mind of the heroine "Eveline".

Ivan Labayne One of the writers who can easily come into mind when speaking of Modernism is James Joyce. His classic anthology of short stories, Dubliners, perfectly captures one of Modernism’s identified traits. The collection of 15 stories altogether conjures a picture of paralysis (Scholes 165). The stories depict the struggle of people – both internal and external – and their desperate mechanisms in trying to rise above their abject situations.

A priest died out of insanity in “The Clay.” A young boy was frustrated after failing to buy a present for a girl he admires -- all because the “Araby” was nearly closed, and he went there late because of a prolonged waiting for his uncle. A young girl was compelled not to elope with her lover and escape her familial duties in “Eveline.” Another young girl, this time was devirginized and was obliged to atone for the careless act by marrying the man who impregnated her. A man was gobbled by frustrations in work and with his friends, and was forced to vent out his ire towards his helpless son in “Counterparts.”

The stories in Dubliners portray the wretchedness that has surround man and his irrepressible will to get out of that wretched condition. Man wants to leave the filth, the poverty, the state of innocence, or ignorance where he found himself residing. He wanted to become better but somehow, his circumstances dared to push him, further and he eventually found himself beaten by his circumstances. In other words, he failed to rise above his situations. Eveline was tied up with her family – especially her father –and her responsibilities over them. That was her situation. She promised to her mother before it dies, that she will keep the family together as long as she lives. When an opportunity to escape her present situation came, she was foiled by that feeling of being bound to the promise to her mother. Ultimately, that rendered her as a powerless individual.

Upon watching the falling of the snows by himself, Gabriel Conroy was symbolically castrated by a huge epiphany. He just learned that his wife, Greta, has had a mini-affair with a man who fell ill and died for her. Hearing that testimony from Greta, Gabriel Conroy
was overpowered by the idea that his emotional prostitutions for his wife was flimsy compared to Michael’s, Greta’s past and precious lover. Recalling the merriment radiating among the pack of people in an earlier gathering, he was seemingly humiliated by the subsequent realization that the bond which existed among the people was likewise tenuous and mechanical. After Mary Jane’s rendition of a song, for instance, Gabriel’s applause, as well as those of the other people, was implied to be rather staged and unnatural: “Gabriel applauded loudly with all the others at the close of the song…” (Joyce 193).

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