The Dubliners

Both stories have similar diction causing the same kind of “droopiness” (at least in my opinion). That may have something to do with the fact that they are in similar environments. Both characters in the short stories spend some time outside either walking or simply observing their surroundings. Both of their lives seem to be both very monotone and structured. Maria has her routine planned out to the minute and in Araby, the protagonist adjusts his schedule to that of his Megan’s. The people surrounding both characters appear to be much more lively than they are. The walking routes are significant to the stories’ meaning because they describe the characters daily routine which says a lot about them and their daily lives. It sets the scene and the tone for the stories as well as make it more realistic to the readers since the places are real. That helps the reader understand the plot better than if they lived in an imaginary place.


6 thoughts on “The Dubliners

  1. I like what you have to say about how they seem stuck in their daily lives. I think it’s definitely true. Another thing I would think is important to note is how both of the characters seem as though they dream of getting out of their daily routines. In “Araby” it says, “I wished to annihilate the tedious intervening days. I chafed against the work of school.” It seems also evident, especially during “Clay” writing of Maria’s imagination. Even, especially, at the end where there is a whole verse of a song that is about dreaming. So not only is it about how they seem stuck in their daily routines, but also about how they want to get out of it, but are not quite sure how. I think this is extremely important to note to fully see the short stories.

  2. I think it is wrong to say that their lives seem “monotone and structured”. Although the writing styles in both pieces are quite formal and impersonal, there are many emotions and feelings being expressed in each work. In “Araby” those moments of impatience at school and during his daily life were moments of barely contained excitement and love. His daily routine not unchanging and stagnant, but is now being altered by the introduction of his one-sided love. Something I found interesting is that aside from calling her “Mangan’s sister” we are never told the name of the girl that the narrator is in love with.

    “Clay” is filled with even more emotion than the first, although the overall mood of this piece was one of sadness. It began quite hopeful and happy, with the main character Maria enjoying work and buying a cake for her family. However, it is revealed that her cake was stolen by a seemingly gentlemanly man on the train, and from there the mood shifts to one of sorrow. To say these pieces have no feeling and emotion is only judging the formal, lengthy way the authors write. Both stories have a common theme of happiness being destroyed by a cruel reality.

    • I will have to agree that their lives before weren’t exactly monotone. However, to an extent they were structured so to speak. Both of the main characters however had something they were looking for. They had hopes for something (or someone), and those hopes were dashed in both cases.
      In both stories the main character follows a similar arc, they both have a interesting, yet organized and pre-planned everyday life. They both seize an opportunity to veer away which leads them physically to other places. And finally in the end their hopes are dashed with anger or sadness.

  3. NB is certainly correct in pointing out the structured monotony of the characters’ lives, which doesn’t necessarily preclude a vivid inner life. The stories show the ways in which modern Dublin prevents that inner life from attaining fulfillment or connecting with others. The feelings are intense, but they are not perceived by the people who matter.

  4. I agree that the author was trying to portray their lives as dull. However, I think they had a explicit purpose in mind for this dullness. The author wanted the story not to be driven by character development, but by the engaging and vivid environment. This was to convey to that one should get caught up in the little things. The characters of both stores focuses on the details and it only led to anguish.

  5. I noticed a similar sort of language in both pieces. The characters live very monotonous lives and the language Joyce uses reflects this monotony. The tone isn’t exactly depressed but it is a bit sad and dull. In the beginning of “Araby” there is a bit of hope but it ends differently. One thing I did notice in “Araby” and “Clay” was a repetition of certain words. I can’t decide if this was intentionally done by Joyce or if it was a coincidence.

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