James Joyce wrote his collection of fifteen short stories named Dubliners in the time when Ireland was going through a period of stagnation and paralysis. This is reflected by main characters of these stories. In the first story of Dubliners, The Sisters, the theme of paralysis is introduced in the very beginning. “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 word gnomon in the Euclid and the word simony in the Catechism.
The stories of Dubliners are united by the city itself — Dublin is rendered in Joyce 's book with a concreteness and specificity that was unprecedented at the time of its writing. The other aspect that unites these disparate works of narrative prose is shared themes. Though the protagonist of "Araby" and that of "Clay" could hardly be more different with respect to age and temperament (the same goes for the main characters of "Eveline" and "The Dead"), all these stories are united by the ideas that the tales dramatize: paralysis, corruption, and death. In story after Dubliners story, characters fail to move forward, tending rather to forge outward and then retreat, or else circle endlessly. They are stuck in place.
It is undeniable that, in Dubliners, the theme of the dream of evasion and of the impossibility of escaping Dublin is present in the cycle of stories. Yet, due to the simple fact that Dubliners is meant to be a work of social protest against the city’s society, its intended audience are the Dubliners. This aspect of the work makes its understanding, by a non-Dubliner (even if Irish) impossible, due to the fact that Joyce extensively uses geography both to convey and enhance the themes of each story. The misunderstanding of the geographic scenario of the work, both when it is implicit and explicit, does not only prevent the understanding of the themes, but also the erroneous perception of unintended themes. The three main features that inhibit
But while most of his works are famous throughout the world, his personal life is shrouded in mystery. As people know, William Shakespeare wrote 153 sonnets. The first 126 sonnets are written for a noble young man, and the rest 27 sonnets are for a black lady. The first seventeen sonnets are Shakespeare’s precise massage to the young man which express himself. But beginning from the sonnet 18, there is an abrupt turning point: Shakespeare had completely fallen in love with the fifteen-year-old young man.
The Playboy of the Western World, John Millington Synge’s last completed work, is the author’s greatest play, and in many ways his most difficult to interpret. J.M. Synge wrote several of his most famous works during the years of the Celtic Revival, and played a significant role in the social movement along with his friends and colleagues Lady Gregory and W.B. Yeats. J.M.
One of the central tenets of James Joyce’s work, the paralysis or blighted figures that live in Dublin, can be vividly noticed in his short stories Araby and The Sisters. Albeit written at a time of peak Irish nationalism, the two stories elucidate what Joyce discerned to be the dull, idle, and sorry lives of Dubliners. Joyce’s utter refutation of Irish pride caused him to create characters in the city that lacked confidence and direction in their lives. The theme of paralysis can be perceived in both Araby and The Sisters with Joyce’s description of the monotony of daily work routines, the disenchantment of adulthood, and the silence that was prevalent throughout the city. In Araby, an unnamed young boy finds himself obsessively in love with one of his mate’s sisters.
Jonathan Swift, was a famous satirist and author of “Gulliver's Travels” who devoted most of his writing discussing the struggle between Ireland and England. Swift became famous in Ireland in the 1700’s for his depiction of the English government in a time where Ireland and England were not particularly friendly. In the essay “A Modest Proposal”, one of Swift’s more extreme, the idea of the Irish eating their children to survive is presented with a plainly satirical tone. Since the content of the essay is so absurd, it allows for Swift to hold an overly serious tone which adds to the hilarity of this piece. The essay builds a unique type of argument by using satire and allegory to establish tone and pathos, diction paired with tone to establish a relationship with his intended audience and comedy to discredit the people he is mocking and elevate his own ethos.
He wrote 38 plays, 154 sonnets, and lots of writings of many kinds. During his life, he gained a huge popularity, but his biggest success came after his death. The Tempest is the last play of Shakespeare, probably written in 1610. It is believed, that this is the last play that Shakespeare wrote alone. The inspiration for the play might have been the story of shipwreck of an English ship in Bermuda in 1609.
Dubliners is a work portraying the Irish society of the early XXth century, in this period on conflicts and trouble in Ireland, Joyce came back to see his mother who was ill, and began to write the short stories. Opposed to Yeats position on separatism reflected in literature, he decided to paint a rather dark portrait of the city, instead of praising the mythological, folkloric culture of Ireland, and permitted to grow mature characters, attached to their country, with the conscience of its weakness and the desire to elevate it. In this perspective, the work of Emer Nolan enlightens us (p.1-8) Emer Nolan explains the different attitude of the two writers toward literary revival in Ireland. She presents Yeats ambition as a wish to enlightens the literature, which is “sterile” when not combined with “nature” and “country life”, Yeats feared modernity, Joyce didn't and wanted to work above politics, but in the perspective of describing the culture and “way of thinking” of the modern nation. Yeats was accused to depict “'the Irish peasant as a crooning barbarian crazed with morbid superstition...'” Dubliners, in this perspective could be considered as a “response to the cultural revivalists”.
Then, it will be shown how today life on these islands is continuously threatened by the menace of emigration which is compromising the existence of these fascinating places. We’ll notice how isolation and poverty make an Irish island a difficult place where to live in. Therefor in this first chapter we will see that there is not just one way to look at the island life but there are many which are all different and personal to the authors who are writing. In this second chapter the first two writers will be introduced. We’ll go shortly through Synge and O’Flaherty’s biographies in order to better understand their works.