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Joyce's Pattern of Paralysis in Dubliners Author(s): Gerhard Friedrich and Florence L. Walzl Source: College

Joyce's Pattern of Paralysis in Dubliners Author(s): Gerhard Friedrich and Florence L. Walzl Source: College English, Vol. 22, No. 7 (Apr., 1961), pp. 519-520 Published by: National Council of Teachers of English

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REBUTTAL

519

Professor Mills' stubborn refusal to walk out of the outmoded classroom. Like so

television, Mills

places

"silences, hesitations,

fumblings

teacher's

many of

a

towards

the

great

truth

critics of

deal of

.

.

.

emphasis on

with

the

searching

not

his stu-

dents for something

yet fully known.

S.

"

I do not, of course, wish

on the

to cast

any

aspersions

competence; but I cannot

that if he

terial,

For there is indeed no room on a television

program for an instructor who, like his

Professor's professional

thinking

really he should remain in the classroom.

help

is uncertain about his ma-

with uncertainties.

students, But let us

hope when Professor Mills will have mastered

his

his students for

known." He will

his materialin a clear,

ner,

unanswered

comes,

television as a Master Teacher.

is

fumbling there will soon come a time

and stopped "searching with

something then be able to

not

yet fully

present

straightforward man-

the students with

subject

without confusing

he

questions.

too

And when that time

will be ready to enter

Brooklyn College

J. Burlington

Sloe

(Lawrence W. Hyman)

JOYCE'S PATTERN OF PARALYSIS IN DUBLINERS

Florence Walzl's "Patternof

Joyce's

1961)

Paralysis in

Dubliners" (College English, Jan.

is in several

respects seriously

That

the

incom-

organic

and

is,

and misleading.

as a

himself

publish of fifteen stories which it

truncated and subdivided 3-4-4-3

conception

four-part

must be acknowledged

Joyce

Dubliners as the

appealing

"a symmetrically

evidence of

be,

his

balanced

surpassinggenius.

Dead,"

Pro-

"as a

treats "The

the fifteenth

story

"incidentally,"

only Joyce's

to

is not

paralytic progression

spiral

plete

chose to

sequence

not

scheme, however

of

grouping" may

as

fessor Walzl

later addition"which supposedly "obscures

Joyce's early pattern,"only

though

finest,

but of supreme importance and its

of cumulativeawareness.It is Gabriel Con-

book's

the

roy who

liberating vitality clusion that "the

is

nition"-as Melville's

-"runs the whole circle

interpretation

plays

the

death"; in him alone

most nearly comprehends

prognosis

for the

the "shockof

phraseaptly

round";

and

Dead" as absolutely

of

Joyce's

the

which underlies the con-

patient

recog-

continues

any

of Dubliners which under-

"The

essentialto

perfection

scheme falsifies

his accomplishment.

ProfessorWalzl's ingeniousassignment of or

specific

sub-images"

group indeed largely abortive.

"paralytic

"plot

of stories

images"

proves

serted that the

second group is while

she slips

"Counterparts"(third group),

exclusive to each

Having

of

as-

the

paralytic sub-image "the

"entrapment" or

trap,"

third group,"

"sterility

into

dominatesthe

admitting that Farrington,

is

in

"trapped

by

Is

group) any

story by

Mary

her unattractiveness?

do not "The Sisters"demonstrate "sterility"

as much as "disillusionment"?

economic need and too weak to rebel."

Chandler in "A Little Cloud"

in

less

trapped

that name

(third

than Eveline in the

(second group)? Is not

trapped by

trapped by

that

matter,

"Clay" (third group)

Or,

for

The thematic distancebetween the

story,

"The Sisters,"

"Grace" and

great

open-

and the last two

ing

stories,

as

have

Joyce suggests, as he had in all the stories

(fourth group), that people

are

inherent

the real

who

of

"The Dead," is not

as Professor Walzl's article would

it. She maintains that "at the end

life

lives of

inactivity

certainly

To

say

that "The

physical paraly-

meansto over-

an

broke the

is

it")

the

public

live

meaningless

dead,"

which is

story.

story

of

even in the first

Sisters"is but "a

sis

look

unspiritualpriest

chalice

and is referred to as a

description of "Grace"as a story

having

moral overtones,"

the

fact

("that

that

who

the

paralytic

of

long ago

was the

beginning

"simoniac," and

of

"spirit-

ual

therefore rather than of

jection.

paralysishaving physical

an

gives

illusory correspondence and pro-

effects"

sense of

inversion

As to

the

concept of "paralysis," while

and ter-

fails to

in-

Professor Walzl

tiary

draw attention to the

troduced the term

story

deed in the

he did so after the

quotes secondary

it,

she

sources

of

illuminating

outright

and

fact that

into

Joyce

the

first

only there, in- and that

the sequence,

opening paragraph,

separate printing of

520

"The Sisters"in The Irish

a

keynoting theme is all the more worth

Such

COLLEGE

Homestead,

of

noting

in

"paralysis" with

"simony"),

dis-

literary

carefully

revised and expanded version.

the book's

because

deliberate

identifies

Joyce's prelude

(as

which

as abled square is

equivalent-the epiphanicJoycean pattern-

of

"gnomon"

well

as with

a slanted and

incomplete,

and

the geometrical

the

paralyzed

episodes

subjective

is

human condition.

whose

Professor Walzl states that

"the

the

of

all told

person, past tense;

third-person

quent

manages

sweeping objective and an intensely sub-

jective comprehension.

to create the illusion of both a

Joyce

in

apparentlyorphaned boyhood, are

first

largely implied."

objective

fourteen stories are all brief,

Incidentally,

original

three

the

significance

fact,

is

As a matter of

stories, relating experiences

first

an

this focus

enlarged observation in all the subse-

though

in "The Dead"

abandoned for

stories,

Gerhard Friedrich

Cedar Crest College

REPLY

ON DUBLINERS

My purpose

of

rangement

balanced

theological

effected

Dead." Note

Original

Dead"

by

greater length

alone.

structure to

very

plan

double

ipated

Like

eighth),

to

final stories

which exposes

As to the

are

the

was to

study

the

relationship

1905 ar-

with the

the

symbolism of stories in

opening

and structure in the

Dubliners,

and close

dealing with

virtues,

the

my

ratherthan the

later addition of

changes

"The

subtitle "A Study of the

that "The

agree of Dubliners: its do that

plot

theme, I feel that "The Dead"

brilliantly complements Joyce's basic

combines

Framework." I

changes the effect and

However,

in

development the relation of

plot

in the 1905 version. Its

the

epiphanies,

in the

early

each of which is antic-

earlier structure of the book.

stories (up to the

presents

pivotal

a revelation

"The Dead"

individual about himself. Like the

it presents

also an

epiphany

a

culturally sterile society.

charactersin

Note

group

all

three,

"These

by life, hav-

statement:

choices earlier"

(p.

my

charactersare alreadytrapped

ing

225). I believe there is a differencein degree

of paralysis between groups two and three.

trapped.

made

constraining

ENGLISH

In two

Boarding main characterschoose or

Gallants"and "The

at a time in their lives

have made

three ("A

"Clay" ters

("Eveline," "After the Race,"

accept

the

revitalizing choices. In

Little

"Two

House") the

trap

when they could

group

Cloud," "Counterparts,"

the charac-

having been trapped

Case")

emphasis

and "A Painful

pictured

as

a second

are

for a considerable time; hence the

sterility

Duffy, has

sis

resulting choice makes him

from

is on the

of their lives. One,

chance,

his

but the

Mr.

paraly-

earlier deliberate

of action. The

incapable three others are offered no real alternatives.

As to the relation of the

(p.

my

would

corrupt

227).

I

great.

a

older

opening

"the

and

first

dis-

close, note

group

illusionment of individuals in

statement that

have

depicted the painful

a

shown social

I am

insisting

decadent

groups

to be awareof their decadence"

society; the last

too

do not think the "thematicdis-

on the-

tance"

matic similarity. Both opening in the

depict

of

point

the

the condition of their

depict groups of mature people put

tions

gion and

corruption.

end is

paralyzed. As to use

context I was

stories as a whole characterizing and used it in Webster's

sense of

in situa-

the last three

In fact,

and close

persons

in

paralyzed society

characters. The

difference is

of view. The first three stories depict

painful epiphanies of young boys

as to

society;

involving politics,

comfortably

The

the arts and reli-

insensible to

their

society at beginning and and

spiritually

depicted as culturally

of the word objective:

the

in the

fourteen

detached. I was not referring to

point of view.

Limitations of space made comment on

the

variations

numerous paralysis images and their

I tried

general, true of the

incomplete.

obvious

paralysis

fully

In

to avoid the

opening

which has elicited much

as was

image in "The Sisters"

explicationalready

and also those

readily

image

self

Fl6rence L. Walzl University of Wisconsin (Milwaukee)

1GerhardFriedrich, "TheGnomonicClueto

JamesJoyce's Dubliners," Modern Language

Notes,

recent or

gnomon Professor Friedrich has him-

discussed

in

available criticism as the

which

elucidated very interestingly.'

LXXII

(1957), 421-424.