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Paralysis and
Epiphany: How Joyce
Could Save Dublin

of nationalism, it was no surprise he eventually felt

compelled to leave the country he so wished could

by Anne Michels

saw Dubliners

of short stories Dubliners

sole intention was to write a chapter of the moral

their refusal to open their eyes to their situation

a third world country under British imperialist rule,

his Dubliners
a life that barely scratched the surface of what they

Joyce planted in each individual story the possibility

let the reader and the narrator understand the truth of
the situation, but there were also moments where the

clowns dressed up as writers to impress their British

turned to the church when they saw the paralysis

of short stories is not only a history of the city of

be easy for the peoples he chronicled to achieve the

The stories in Dubliners were divided into four

artists involved in the literary revival, specifically, he


and early adolescence, in which a problem is noticed

the characters are presented with the reality of their

mention of a chalice in these stories is when Father

how ridiculous it is for this little boy to aspire to be

of these stories involve some sort of epiphany, be it

many critics claimed was at the heart of all the stories,

and that caused so many of them to brush off the
the collection was simply a sentimental and shallow
epiphany or revelation is conceivable as an event

stories merely clue the reader into the cause of the

epiphany was to show how close they could be while

he would be better off without it, but instead he

reality of the paralysis of the adults that should be

accept British control, or to blindly obey the whims
particularly in their delusion of the virtuosity of

could be the problem, so instead they had to assume

to read their beautiful poetry to their wives, who

pretend they are not lonely because they share a few

they see that they cannot connect with those closest

hopes that if she surrounds herself with these small,

these small acts, no matter what it has done to both

she would rather live in the adolescent world where

The last four stories of Dubliners deal with

relatively free youth are described as pellets in a

priestly members of these stories compare themselves


they will push their own children into when the time

it has become, that it would rather be a comfortable

builds up the anticipated encounter, when his wife,

man that died because of his love for her, someone


in Dubliners

connection possible with his wife, he is now a part

that he was not there when it happened and that they
now he can understand her, and she can trust him
this moment overcame his paralysis, but we certainly

When editor after editor refused to publish

Dubliners, we see