James Joyce's "Dubliners" Book Review by Kafkascat

James Joyce's "Dubliners"
This paper is an extensive analysis of the narratives of paralysis and escape in James Joyce's collection of short stories "Dubliners".
# 100734 | 6,500 words | 21 sources | MLA | 2007 | GB
Published on Jan 28, 2008 in English (Analysis) , Literature (European (other))

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This paper explains that, while it is tempting to read James Joyce's "Dubliners" as a simple narrative description of 'a chapter of the moral history' of Ireland, with Dublin serving as 'the centre of paralysis', Joyce was actually concerned with suggesting a means of moving out of this paralysis. More specifically, the paper stresses that 'The Dead', the fifteenth and final story of "Dubliners", should be seen not as a mere description of paralysis but as a means of suggesting a way forward or out of this condition. The author relates that the word 'escape' appears in no less than four of the stories in this collection; therefore, this word itself can be seen to hold the key to how Joyce's "Dubliners" is to be read. The paper presents a chapter by chapter description and analysis of each short story.

From the Paper:

"At this early stage in Dubliners, however, these concepts are merely signified. The reader is, in other words, merely offered what Saussure would term 'signs' or words. In fact, that the significance of these key words is announced typographically, in italics, very quickly draws attention to the fact that it is words that we are dealing with here. Accordingly, when the reader is presented with these words, it is not the concepts underlying them that trouble the narrator of 'The Sisters,' but the words themselves and their fundamental sounds. The narrator has, he says, taken to saying the word 'paralysis' 'softly' to himself 'every night ... .

Sample of Sources Used:

  • The American Heritage(r) Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition Copyright(c) 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company' online at <www.questia.co.uk>.
  • Benjamin, Walter, 'The Storyteller' in Illuminations, ed. and intro. by Hannah Arendt, trans. by Harry Zorn (London: Pimlico, 1999), pp. 83-107.
  • Benstock, Bernard, 'Narrative Strategies: Tellers in the Dubliners Tales', in Journal of Modern Literature, 15:4 (1989: Spring), pp. 541-559.
  • Brown, Terence, 'Notes' in James Joyce, Dubliners, ed. and intro. by Terence Brown (London: Penguin, 2000), pp. 237-317.
  • Deane, Seamus, 'Dead Ends: Joyce's Finest Moments', in Semicolonial Joyce, ed. by Derek Attridge and Marjorie Howes (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), pp. 21-36.

Cite this Book Review:

APA Format

James Joyce's "Dubliners" (2008, January 28) Retrieved July 08, 2020, from https://www.academon.com/book-review/james-joyce-dubliners-100734/

MLA Format

"James Joyce's "Dubliners"" 28 January 2008. Web. 08 July. 2020. <https://www.academon.com/book-review/james-joyce-dubliners-100734/>