The Sisters Joyce Analysis

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Through building young, male narrators embroiled in internal conflict, Joyce explores the idea of self-contradiction through two short stories, “Araby” and “The Sisters.” In the lives of the narrators, Joyce demonstrates that internal turmoil leads directly to an epiphany which forces the narrator to examine the alienation caused by his internal conflict. Joyce envelops the narrators within a society that provides characters that accentuate the narrators’ internal conflict, even as the source of the conflict differs between narrators. By leaving the narrators nameless, Joyce extends the idea of internal conflict to his modernist views on Ireland. Through the juxtaposition of self-contradictions of two nearly identical narrators, causing the…show more content…
As the narrator learns of Father Flynn’s death during a dinner with his guardians and Cotter, he “knew that [he] was under observation, so [he] continued eating as if the news had not interested [him]” (Joyce 2). By presenting the narrator’s family members as an antagonistic force, Joyce deepens the turmoil as the narrator must conduct a battle within his mind over Father Flynn, while simultaneously concealing the fact that this battle exists. However, the source of this inner turmoil, Father Flynn, provokes the narrator into conflict without a physical presence. Rather, as the narrator ruminates on his interactions with Flynn, the memories of Flynn begin to haunt the narrator, leaving the narrator consumed by ambivalence. While the narrator received a unique education from the priest, he “found it strange that neither I nor the day seemed in a mourning mood” (Joyce 4). Joyce suggests that despite the priest’s gift of a unique education and the possibility of providing a path to upward social mobility, the narrator cannot overcome the feeling of uneasiness associated with Flynn. Even as the narrator finds himself separate from mourning, he questions this state of being because he received benefits from the priest (Joyce 4). Joyce weaves a continual sense of self doubt into the narrator’s supposedly solid
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