Paralysis In James Joyce's Araby And The Sisters

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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. The boy desperately desires an intimate relationship with her and he begins to think about how his uninteresting, daily life is preventing this love. After finally talking to Mangan’s sister, the narrator declares, “What innumerable follies laid waste my waking and sleeping thoughts after that evening! I wished to annihilate the tedious intervening days. I chafed against my work at school. At night in my bedroom and by day in the classroom her image came between me and the page I strove to read” (Joyce 17). The narrator sees the required schoolwork as a miserable wall that he must climb in order for him to experience true love. At all hours of the day, whether he was in his room attempting to sleep or at

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