Dubliners by James Joyce: Narrative Structure

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A powerpoint based on the article "Patterns of Paralysis in James Joyce's Dubliners"

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Dubliners by James Joyce: Narrative Structure

  1. 1. Pattern of Paralysis in Joyce’s Dubliners A Critical Analysis by Florence L. Walzl
  2. 2. 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
  3. 3. What ideas do the following terms evoke? • Mental paralysis • Moral/spiritual paralysis
  4. 4. Structural Features • 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 Notice the symmetry and balance of the stories
  5. 5. 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.
  6. 6. 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
  7. 7. Your task: Organize yourselves into your groups: Childhood Adolescence Mature Life Public Life 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.

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