James Joyce's Dubliners Essay

1450 Words 6 Pages
Dubliners

James Joyce wrote Dubliners during the 20th century. As Joyce wrote Dubliners, he probably intended on telling what Ireland was like at the time that he wrote it. He uses many different themes in this book. He specifically uses the themes of light and dark and autonomy and responsibility to illustrate what life in Ireland is like. The stories that use these themes are “An Encounter”, “The Boarding House”, and “The Dead”. Each story contains the themes of light/autonomy representing freedom and dark/responsibility representing duty.

In “An Encounter”, the theme of freedom is expressed through out the whole chapter. An example of the theme of freedom representing autonomy happens as the boys plan
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He felt that it was his duty to tell him that he read all the books so; the man wouldn’t think he was stupid. The man is an example of dark because he is very strange acting. He comes off like a pretty nice guy talking about books and girls. He starts doing odd things such as walking back and forth. As he returns, He asks the one boy if Mahony got many whoopings. He starts talking about how much he would love whooping boys if they had sweethearts. They were nervous to be around this guy. They finally got the courage to get up and leave while he was talking.

The theme of freedom is found in “The Boarding House”. An example of this is shown when Polly made dinner for Mr. Doran. They instantly started liking each other: “They used to go upstairs together on tiptoe, each with a candle, and on the third landing exchange reluctant good-nights. They used to kiss. He remembered well her eyes, the touch of her hand and his delirium” (62). This shows right here that they were attracted to each other. They didn’t think about the consequences of their actions before they did it. They were free to do what they wanted, so they thought. They probably didn’t think that Polly’s mother was watching them since they showed interest in each other. Another example of freedom and light is when they flirted with each other. Flirting can be looked at as light. The minute they saw each other, a light could have went off in both of their minds
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