The Character of Maria in "Clay" by James Joyce Essay

The Character of Maria in "Clay" by James Joyce
This paper analyzes Maria, the main character in "Clay" by James Joyce, and discusses her ignorance of the world around her.
# 3298 | 2,030 words | 0 sources | 2001 | US
Published on Sep 13, 2003 in Literature (European (other)) , Women Studies (General)

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This paper takes a look at Maria, a character in the story "Clay" by James Joyce, who never actually wakes up to face the reality or realizes that her whole life has been based on false assumptions and lies.

From the Paper:

"In the Dubliners, James Joyce's short story "Clay" stands out as a piece that has as its main character an ignorant woman who is essentially blind to the world around her. While many of Joyce's characters are struck with life-changing epiphanies, Maria does not recognize the signs - that are predictors of her future - even when they are painfully obvious to the reader. Working at the Dublin by Lamplight laundry, Maria thinks of her position as being of the utmost importance when in reality she is nothing more than a common dishwasher. Although Maria's budget is very limited, she nevertheless thinks that she is an independent woman and can afford the same things as women her age who are actually married. Maria believes that other individuals respect her and admire her, even though those same individuals either mock her unassuming nature or fail to notice her all together. Maria considers Joe's family to be the closest thing she has to having her own family. Meanwhile, Joe, his wife and his children simply put up with Maria once a year as if she was an unpleasant burden. Throughout the story, Joyce presents comparison after comparison of how Maria views herself versus how others view her. While Maria sees her life and the world around her through rose-colored glasses, the reality is rarely accommodating of her expectations."

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