ENGLISH 1022E September 23 , 2010
ENGLISH – Lecture 4
Every night as I gazed up at the window, I said softly to myself the word paralysis. It had always sounded
strangely in my ears, like the word gnomon in the Euclid, and the word simony in the Catechism.
o Problems in Ireland that Joyce saw. Economic issues, parallels now with Can and US. He saw
Ireland as suffering, with the failure as the Roman-Catholic church, causing the country to suffer
o He saw them in a state of Paralysis, unable to do anything about their situation, stuck as victims.
Saw them as content to linger in the Irish myths of humour and hospitality. Dublin = center of all
this spiritual corruption and Irish paralysis. Critics believed it to be a negative outlook, whereas
Joyce believed he had “written a chapter in the spiritual liberation” so that they could come to
grips with their problems and come forward.
o They are dead economically, politically, socially, living a ghostly existence in their own country,
the life being sucked out of them by Britain.
EPIPHANY: sudden and sometimes painful revelation. Joyce takes this Christian idea and makes it his
own. On one hand it is a sudden revelation or coming of knowledge by a central character in a story. The
other part of the Epiphany is what we as readers should feel. At the end of the story, the pattern of the
story should become apparent to us, revealing the purpose of the story.
PARALYSIS: inability of the Irish to act in the personal and public lives. Represented by colours yellow
and brown, opposite of green, the colour of growth and vitality. Physical disability, linked in Dubliners to
a whole other series of problems, suggesting the social, political and psychological weakness of the Irish
to tackle their problems.
PRENOLOGY: physical features of your face were taken to reflect your inner knowledge. Someone with
higher features was considered to be more intelligent, whereas someone with lower features would be ENGLISH 1022E September 23 , 2010
depicted as someone of lower intelligent, somewhat more stupid. In the story, Joyce writes Gabriel with
a larger forehead, making him seem thus intelligent.
GABRIEL: glasses, metal but with a golden covering. Despite his show-off appearance, suggests he has
an inner layer, something below the surface. Despite his blusterous public persona, underneath he is
insecure, has the capacity to grow from there. Wears a hairstyle associated with “Oscar Wilde”, who left
Ireland to make his career in Britain, which is theoret