Pattern of Paralysis in Joyce’s
A Critical Analysis by Florence L.
What is paralysis?
Physical:(Medicine / Pathology) Pathola. impairment or loss of
voluntary muscle function or of sensation (sensory paralysis) in a part or
area of the body, usually caused by a lesion or disorder of the muscles or
the nerves supplying them
b. a disease characterized by such impairment or loss; palsy
What ideas do the following terms
• Mental paralysis
• Moral/spiritual paralysis
• 3 stories of Childhood
• 4 stories of Adolescence
• 4 stories of Mature Life
• 3 stories of Public Life
• “The Dead” is
considered a separate
coda of sorts
balance of the
Each Section has its own plot image:
• Childhood: disillusionment
• Adolescence: Entrapment
• Mature Life: Sterility
• Public Life: Corruption
Joyce uses the stages of life in order to progress the symbolic representation
of the paralysis of Dublin. As such, each section presumes upon and builds
upon the previous, with subsequent plots and narratives becoming more
complex and “grown up”, so to speak.
Plot and symbol tend to fuse.
• Each story is an image in itself, a symbol of
the central paralytic theme.
• Both characters and the action (or lack
thereof) are symbolic: the Dubliners
themselves are the Irish people as a whole,
and their situations signify the spiritual state
of the nation
Organize yourselves into your groups:
Follow the directions on the packet in front of you. This activity is a two-day
activity. Today is a planning/ fact gathering day. The next class period, you
will prepare to present your findings to the class.