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Sample Book Review Paper on Dubliners: Araby and the Dead

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Sample Book Review Paper on Dubliners: Araby and the Dead

Evidently, paralysis is the principal idea or theme in Joyce’s Dubliners and it is evident in both “Araby” and “The Dead.” In normal situations, paralysis refers to an organization, place, or person’s inability to function. It also refers to the loss or a part or most parts of the body, which interferes with a person’s ability to move. However, in the Dubliners, Joyce leverages on the concept of paralysis to portray Dublin’s stagnant culture and its inability to compete with other cultures. In fact, Joyce argues that Irish culture and society had been frozen in place by England and the Roman Catholic Church. In Araby, Joyce conveys the idea of paralysis through the narrator’s inability to capture the attention or attract the love of Mangan’s sister. In Araby, it is seen that the narrator has an intense infatuation although he fears that he might never gather the courage to speak to Mangan’s sister to express his feelings to her. The point where the narrator fears that he might never gather the courage to express his feelings to Mangan’s sister is a clear illustration of how Joyce conveys the idea of paralysis. In “The Dead,” other than the point where Gabriel tells Miss Ivors about Ireland’s stagnant culture that makes him sick, the idea of paralysis is conveyed in Gabriel’s inability to explain what he mean when he asked Lily about her love life. Instead, Gabriel opts to get out of the situation by giving Lily a generous tip. In “The Dead,” the idea of paralysis is also conveyed when Gabriel is unable to answer to answer Miss Ivors’ barrage of questions. Rather than being a real man and answering the questions directed to him, Gabriel gets of the situation at hand by blurting out that he is sick of his country.

One of the themes in the entire Dubliners is sympathy, which is seen when a person feels pity or sorrow for someone else’s misfortunes. In “Araby,” the theme of sympathy is evident because Joyce feels pity or sorrow for the boy’s struggles and his inability to gather the courage to express his feelings to Mangan’s sister. Another situation where Joyce feels pity for the boy is where he goes to the bazaar but is unable to purchase something as a gift for Mangan’s sister. The boy is then forced to make a conclusion that all he had was an infatuation that would not last just like his friendship with Mangan’s sister would not last. However, in “The Dead,” the theme of sympathy is not evident or does not come out clearly. This is because it is hard to tell whether Gabriel sympathizes with his wife Greta, Michael Furey, or himself. In fact, the story states that he was irritated by Gretta’s behavior. Further, it is evident that Gabriel feels sadness rather than sympathy for Michael Furey because the latter had an aching love that he (Gabriel) had never known.  Moreover, readers should not feel sympathy for Gabriel’s closing epiphany as he had contributed to the epiphany ending in the manner it did. The ending of “The Dead” where Gabriel thinks about the love that Michael Furey had for his wife and that he was a shadow of a person flickering in a world in which the dead and the living met, is clearly captured in John Houston’s film, “The Dead.”

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Sample Book Review Paper on Dubliners: Araby and the Dead

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