Sexism In Dubliners

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Dubliners, written by James Joyce, is a collection of many stories about Ireland in the early 20th century, many of them including gender roles as a specific theme, especially “A Mother” and “Eveline”. In Ireland, when Dubliners was published, women were often considered second class citizens and were often disregarded by men. Women did often attempt to escape their gender role but were very usually unsuccessful because of the deep seated sexism in the minds of many people in society. This theme is very clearly portrayed throughout Dubliners as it portrays many women who are unhappy with their gender role and who attempt to free themselves from it. In "A Mother" and "Eveline" specifically, Joyce portrays two women who are attempting to free…show more content…
After years of being told that she needs a man in order to be successful, she truly believes it and struggles to find the independence that would allow her to travel to Buenos Aires. The years of being told that she is inferior to men eventually lead to a deep seated belief in her mind that makes it very difficult for her to successfully break free of her gender role. In his essay, “Critical Essay on ‘Eveline” Scott Trudell demonstrates this when he says, “In other words, in Eveline's subconscious mind, which is deeply infused with the sexism she has learned from her culture and from her abuser, she can only conceive of her "value" as the property of a father figure.” (16). Although Eveline does want to break free of her gender role, she is unable to because of the the belief that she needs a man in her life and that her entire value is based on whichever man accompanies her. Not only does Eveline believe that her worth is based on her man’s, Eveline believes that she needs protection from a man in her life. Scott Trudell writes in a “Critical Essay on ‘Eveline’’ that “Eveline pictures both of these men as her potential protector. She seems to be searching for a tender father figure; somewhat illogically, she tries to balance her father's increasing capacity for violence by remembering random acts of gentleness. And she pictures Frank in a similar way, as a savior and protector to "take her in his arms, fold her in his arms," (15). Instead of searching for what is best for her, Eveline wants to find a protector and bases her decision on which man will protect her the best. Ultimately, her need for a protector drives her to stay with her father, who although abuses her, is more familiar and trustworthy than Frank. This presents a greater characteristic of women in the
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