Theme Of Paralysis In James Joyce's Dubliners

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The opening stories, those dealing with childhood, are written in first person narrative, through the eyes of a boy and present the beginning of paralysis describing the frustration of the boy’s increasing desire to escape from the tedious Dublin life. In each story, the child is frustrated by his environment which progressively corrupts and imposes its values on him. In the stories of adolescence (with “adolescence” Joyce did not refer to the physical stage, but to a stage of spiritual immaturity) the characters are defeated by the obstructing fears and prejudices the city has planted in them; they are unable to react and follow their hopes (paralysis of the will). The following stories, advancing in time and expanding in scope, concern…show more content…
The unifying key-theme is paralysis which is the impossibility from acting, taking decisions and living. Joyce believes it is caused by religion, politics, and culture. A claustrophobic element is present also the family which prevents its members from acting by frustrating or opposing the realisation of their hopes.
The characters in Dubliners are unable to react and accept passively their condition. Joyce believed that beneath the differences of personality and circumstances, his fellow citizens follow generic traits. (unity in diversity).
Escape
It is the opposite of paralysis and it originates from an impulse activated by sense of enclosure that many characters experience. A claustrophobic element is present whether in the description of Irish rooms and houses or in the description of Irish family, which tends to imprison its members. Almost all the Dubliners aspire to escape, but none of them is destined to succeed, they are unable to cut the bonds that tie them to their own world and find a way out of “paralysis NARRATIVE TECHNIQUE
Action is reduced to a minimum; there is no real plot but trivial episodes of everyday life. the description is naturalistic, extremely concise but

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