Themes of Paralesis in Dubliners James Joyce

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Dubliners: Theme Analysis Theme Analysis Poverty Although Joyce was born into a well-to-do family, his father's drinking soon drove the family into poverty. As a result, poverty is one of the major thematic concerns in Dubliners. Although Joyce never refers to his characters as "poor," he shows us their status through details. For instance, in "Two Gallants," Lenehan's abject poverty can be observed by the meager meal he consumes. He hasn't eaten since breakfast and late at night while he waits for Corley to return with money, he orders a meal of peas and vinegar with a bottle of ginger beer for his dinner. He simply doesn't have the money for a proper meal. And, his future looks dismal: it will only get worse. By showing this detail, readers are not as quick to judge Joyce's character, and while we certainly can't like this leech, we can perhaps understand and view him in a sympathetic light. In "Clay," the older unmarried character Maria lives a life of diligent sacrifice for a pittance. Joyce never "tells" us of her poverty, he "shows" us by having her lose the plum cake she has purchased at great expense to bring joy to others. The nameless adolescent in "Araby" doesn't have the money to boy a simple gift for Mangan's sister, the girl he loves. Farrington in "Counterparts" takes to drink to quell his anger over the boring job he hates. Joyce portrays his poverty by having him sell his watch to buy the spirits that will provide temporary relief. In all of this, Joyce illustrates how poverty motivates people to behave in aberrant ways. However, he never offers hope to the impoverished. He states their wretched lives cleanly and clearly. Their lives are awful. There's no romance about life being tough before it gets better. Simply put, it never gets better. That's his point. Dublin, rife with slums like those observed by the adventurous boys in "An

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