Paralysis In James Joyce's Dubliners, The Sisters

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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. But now it sounded to me like the name of some maleficent and sinful being. It filled me with fear, and yet I longed to be nearer to it and to look upon its deadly work.” (Dubliners, pg. 7) The boy is afraid of paralysis…show more content…
It starts as she is sitting at the window and watching the street, thinking about the past, things that have changed. “Now she was going to go away like the others, to leave her home.”(Dubliners, pg.37) “She had consented to go away, to leave her home. Was that wise?”(Dubliners, pg.38) At this point of the story, it is clear that she has doubts about leaving for a new life. This story depicts the danger of lingering on the past while facing the future. Eveline has to choose whether she will continue in the domestic life or if she decides for the possibility of a new married life abroad. “As she mused the pitiful vision of her mother's life laid its spell on the very quick of her being--that life of commonplace sacrifices closing in final craziness.”(Dubliners, pg.41) The vision that she will have the same fate as her mother had makes her to leave with her lover. She is not still fully decided and this appears in the docks where she finds herself unable to move forward. The idea of leaving Ireland scares her. She stays paralysed when facing a challenge that could lead to a hopeful life far away from the place where she grew
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