Dubliners

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Literature is constantly showing its readers aspects of people and societies that would not
normally be shown to the public. The various aspects of society that writers choose to
focus on are done for a reason. Whether or not it is a positive or negative aspect of
society doesn’t hold any significance. The only thing that matters in society is why writers
choose to focus on the subjects that they do. Most writers are trying to push their readers
further by challenging them with an aspect that the reader may overlook in everyday
situations. In his Dubliners, James Joyce uses the function of religion in society to show
how corruption has overtaken the Irish. Joyce portrays the immoral and corrupt role of
the priests in society to show the hypocrisy behind the Irish Catholic Church, and all that
Joyce’s symbolism of the physical features and sexual connotations of the priests
in “The Sisters”, “Ivy Day in the Committee Room”, and in “Grace”, provides readers
with an example of how deceiving these “honorable” religious figures truly are. In “The
Sisters”, Joyce describes the physical features of Father Flynn to show how other
characters felt uncomfortable in his presence. It seems that Father Flynn’s company are
almost repelled to him: “When he smiled he used to uncover his big discoloured teeth and
let his tongue lie upon his lower lip a habit which had made me feel uneasy in the
beginning of our acquaintance before I knew him well” (13). This quote shows the
awkwardness of Father Flynn’s physical appearance. The “discoloured teeth” shows that
the priest wasn’t hygienic, when in reality priests are supposed to be purified and
cleansed. The teeth show that corruption exists in Father Flynn, because he hasn’t
followed the regulations of priesthood.
Another unexpected characteristic of an Irish
priest is seen in Father Keon. He is described as being almost seductive with other men
and women o…

Dubliners

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Dubliners is considered a champion among books written in the English language. James Joyce's characterization of not only the people in the stories, but of Dublin itself, demonstrates his great ability as an author. Dubliners is not a book with a normal story line, a plot, and a definite climax and resolution. Instead, it is more of a setting, an atmosphere, an “epiphany” as Joyce called it. To understand the book, it is recommendable to focus on Irish history, and more specifically, Charles Stewart Parnell. He is a figure alluded to in this and other books by Joyce. He has been referred to as the “uncrowned king of Ireland.”
The series of short stories included in Dubliners depict a broken morale in and around the city of Dublin. The early 1900's marked a time of disheartened spirits not only in Dublin but all of Ireland. England still clutched Ireland under it's own control.. The citizens were bitter and dismayed.
It wasn't until 1922 that Ireland freed itself from England. Up until that time, Ireland was occupied and ruled from Britain. The occupation had begun hundreds of years before, but from the end of the 18th century, a distinct Irish nationalism began to evolve. From 1801 onwards, Ireland had no Parliament of it's own. It was ruled by the Parliament in Britain which consisted of the House of Commons and House of Lords.
Meanwhile, in the 1840's, a small group formed out of the Young Ireland movement. The leader, Thomas Davis, expressed a concept of nationality embracing all who lived in Ireland regardless of creed or origin. A small insurrection in 1848 failed, but their ideas influenced the coming generations.
This small nationalism was illustrated in the stories “Evelyn” and “A Painful Case.” In the latter, Mr. James Duffy, despite his dislike of the “modern an pretentious” Dublin, decides to stay at least in the suburbs and commute back and forth to his house. Also in the story of …