James Joyce’s book, “Dubliners” offers a variety of stories about the city of Dublin. James wrote the collection of short fifteen stories where each story adds to the wonderful completion of the book. Each story was so different from the previous and it was very interesting to read various tales that took place in Dublin where each of the stories were kept interested and ready to read the next short story about a great love for the country and you could easily see the disappointment the writer held for some of the country people and the way they lived.
I found myself glued to the pages while reading most of the stories and I would be eager to get to the next short story, and occasionally the next wasn’t quite as good, but I continued in my reading and I was never fully disappointed. Some of the stories were better than others, but as a whole, I would have to say that the book, “Dublin” was well worth the extra time I spent reading it, and I would recommend that others read the book, as well.
Reading Joyce’s book is a wonderful way of learning about the country of Dublin and viewing how people live in the country. It was interesting to tour the country using a mental image that guided me along with Joyce’s words. Joyce used impressive and descriptive words to describe the surroundings in Dublin, such as “glow of a late autumn sunset” which gave me a feeling of serenity and full color description. Joyce used the color gold more than once in her writing, which I assumed was a color that she closely associated with the country of Dublin.
In one of Joyce’s short stories, I found it very interesting when she told about Gallaher, from the title, “A Little Cloud” and told about the man returning from London and she had a way of clearly describing the man as dirty and dear. Gallaher brought interesting light to the short stories because he was able to bring in a different perspective of Dublin, because he wasn’t one that resided in the country. Joyce, in my opinion, possessed a love and hate relationship with Dublin.
The author would tell stories of the country which left you feeling as if you never wanted to go there, but would then he would leave you feeling as if you had a deep respect for the country and the people who lived there. In the short story, “The Dead” Joyce talks about a marriage that was all wrong and failed because the relationship was full of deception and lies. The secrets destroyed the marriage, but at the same time, I liked and appreciated how the author was still able to show the love that was in the failing relationship.
Joyce was able to teach me that it’s okay to still love someone, even though there are problems. I was able to see that you can still love someone, even though they are not perfect. The story made me think of unconditional love. In some of the stories, the author was able to come across strongly when she told about alcoholism and how it effected the lives of those who lived in Dublin. I was also able to feel sorry for the poor residents. It was sad how some of the Dublin citizens tried to escape the country only to end up in prison.
It took some of the hope away that you had previously wished for and left a stagnant impression of Dublin. In the story, “Mother”, I found that it was depression that was the main theme of and I found it to be, less than entertaining. It was interesting to see how the author was able to move the story from ones youth to that of an adult. The author brought the words of the stories with anger at times and then gentleness with others. Joyce was able to display both good and bad emotions, from love to hate, and from depression to hope.
The young characters in the story made me want to reach out to them. They seemed to be starving for affection and looked so helplessly for a means to escape from the country of Dublin. It was sad to see that hope diminish with the turning of the pages and watch as the young characters grew up to be defeated in their possibilities of escaping. The author spoke with an artistic ability with the words he chose for the story. He spoke in rhythm and it was easy to follow his writing.
He had a remarkable way of describing the characters in his short stories and a means to help me closely identify with the characters. “His eyes burned with anguish and anger” was a line at the end of one story that was more frightening than entertaining. The author spoke bluntly about what he was saying I could clearly see the rage in the eyes of the person. The character, Farrington is such an angry individual in the story “Counterparts” and you can sense a hatred in his character. You had to wonder if Dublin brought out the worst in everybody.
Dublin is a country that I see as oppressed through the authors writing and I don’t feel that I’d enjoy visiting the country, in fear that some of the anger and depression may rub off on me. I sense too much struggle in the daily lives of Dubliners, some which manage to survive with some hope and other characters that I just saw no hope for their eventual happiness. Joyce seemed cold and agitated in his writing when he talked about Dublin as if he had some type of hate for the country.
But, in the end you have to ask yourself if he really did hate the place as much as he tried to make you believe he did. His writing was extremely creative and interesting and I’m happy that I read each of the short stories because I did learn so much the people who lived in Dublin. Their lives seemed so dull and full of despair which reminded be how fortunate I am to be able to live in a great country like The United States of America. The author very successful at opening up my imagination and I felt like I was in Dublin with the characters.
I would have like to been capable of intervening for many of the characters, which is why I feel that “Dubliner” was a book that made me feel and react with several emotions. “Dubliners” by James Joyce is a story that I will always remember, but not with fondness. I will never forget the characters or the country of Dublin. I didn’t realize how old the book truly was, and I found it very impressive to read about the stories of Dublin in the early years. Joyce, James, 1914, “Dubliners” Penguin Group
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