Living between two worlds


Farrington in "Counterparts" is somewhat a mirror of Little Chandler in "Little Cloud". Like Chandler, Farrington works as a clerk in a law office and lives in the rural/sub urban Dublin and has children. Farrington takes his anger from being trapped, "paralyzed" in an intimidating job. Both Chandler and Farrington show ideas of violence towards their children, releasing their bitterness, monotony of Dublin life onto their families. On the other hand, Gallaher in "Little Cloud" represents someone that has moved out of Dublin, into a more exotic and rich world that is beyond the reach of both Farrington and Chandler.

The title of "Counterparts" suggests an opposite situation. This device that Joyce uses helps show the rivalry between the two different worlds, the provincial, paralyzed Dublin and the seemingly colourful world outside the boundaries of Dublin. It is by encountering people from the exotic world that Farmington realized how narrow his life is which brings out the motif of entrapment. The title of "Little Cloud" is also very effective and might refer to the glimmer hope that Gallaher's comes to symbolize for Chandler's. The beginning of little cloud is told from Chandler's point of view and it shows his degrading attitude towards the Dublin community. They are depicted as "minute vermin-like life" and after his encounter with Gallaher, he "fees superior to the people he passed." He sees above the narrow, parochial life of Dublin and is aspired to purse his dreams of being a poet.

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The theme of entrapment and the temptation for freedom is present in "Little Cloud" and earlier stories in the Dubliners. The "oriental eyes" in Araby and Eveline are give us as readers a glimpse of the exotic world that Gallaher is part of. The "little cloud" of hope which Galleher represents in Chandler's life can also be a symbol of the "little cloud" in Chandler's head. His path seems to be covered by a cloud, blinding him from what his future and his dreams. Finally, it can also represent the "liitle cloud" of unhappiness which Gallehar's casts over Chandler. Gallehar is a model of success, liberty and modernity to Chandler because he is single, following his dreams and living an exotic life. Conversly Chandler is chained to the provincial life of Dublin, working as the families bread winner, burdened by the responsibilities of marriage, adulthood and children.

In both stories, James Joyce creates a contrast between two very different worlds. In one world, you have the successful and exotic Gallehar, In the other, you have Chandler and Farrington, resentment in their entrapment, psychologically paralyzed by the Dublin society. Both Chandler and Farrington are trapped in the parochial life of Dublin, unable to break free from the burden of social problems that is passed from authoritative superiors on to workers and finally taking home and onto the children. This cycle of social unrest.

Journal Entry- Clay

In Clay James Joyce writes in a style that makes the tone of the story poignant but at the very same time "happy and sad". The main character of the story Maria, is a hardworking, good hearted woman that lives a very controlled life, a life that is built of solid structure that is as simple and with a purpose. In the novel, she is described as a "veritable peace maker" which underlines her calm, placid lifestyle and personality. However, even someone as cheerful as Maria can suffer from the thought of failure. James Joyce writes "at the thought of failure of her little surprise and of the two and fourpence she had thrown away for nothing she nearly cried outright." This goes back to Maria's character and also reflects the theme that James Joyce likes to call "paralysis". Maria is someone that demands organization and precision, this is shown in the introduction with the detailed descriptions of Maria's kitchen. The kitchen was "spick and span: "the cook said you could see yourself in the big copper boilers". The "barmbracks seemed uncut" but in fact they "had been cut into long thick even slices and were ready to be handed around for tea. Maria had cut hem herself". From this, we can see Maria's attention to minute detail, which is one reason why she gets so frustrated when the she finds that her plum cake was gone missing.

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The theme of paralysis is explicated proposed in novel Dubliners. Joyce writes about the social condition in Dublin at the time, the politically powerless Ireland at the time, making the people of Ireland psychologically paralyzed. In Clay, we have Maria, paralyzed in her own acute emotions, unable to accept anomalies in her perfectly structured life. Maria is a complete opposite to Eveline. Eveline feels confused and trapped in her own life, which makes her have second thoughts about her potentially new life with Frank. Maria's emotions on the other hand are far more insignificant since she is unable to overcome small changes in her organized life. Another point worth mentioning is that the story is told from Maria's point of view and it helps build up the images of entrapment and paralysis.

James Joyce also uses a great deal of repetition to emphasize the idea of smallness. Joyce repeats words and phrases with some frequency as a way of holding a particular image of the character, and in this case to create the fragile and innocent image of Maria. Joyce uses short words such as "mug", "tea", "laugh" and "nose" in Clay and this form of repetition may be used to convey the idea that the character has his/her limits. This shows that Maria use of language is restricted which may be an indication of Maria's constricted mind. In a bigger scope, this may be a reference to the theme of paralysis which "Clay" and other stories in Dubliners represent. In the novel, Clay may be seen as the first story that focuses on the serenity and sterility of Dublin life, but yet at the same time, the serenity is lost, when things don't go according to plan for Maria.