The pitiable fatuous fellows of dear dirty Dublin, or: conflicted masculinity in James Joyce's Dubliners

UNCW Author/Contributor (non-UNCW co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
William C. Beckham (Creator)
The University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW )
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Janet Ellerby

Abstract: With the wealth of scholarship regarding the stories of Dubliners, it is quite surprising that no critics have seen fit to determine what constitutes Joyce?s often conflicted concept of masculinity. The common approach to the work holds that each story is an autonomous unit and that the work as a whole lacks a grand sense of cohesion; this approach denies a sense of unity amongst the works and serves to undermine the developmental nature of Dubliners itself. As the text progresses from childhood through maturity, certain characters present different masculine identities founded by not only their age and position within Dublin society, but by concepts previously introduced in the preceding narratives; the general conceit granted then becomes something of an evolutionary view of masculinity. The characters? masculine identities are then inextricably intertwined, though still certainly distinct. Joyce depicts his characters? masculine self-image as forever under siege by a litany of forces: from the self to others, from Irish society to continental influence. Close readings of each of the stories, building upon each other and culminating in “The Dead,” then grants insight into the problematic nature of masculine identification. By reaffirming the work?s unity, blending gender studies with post-colonial theory, and applying various other theoretical approaches to the work, a clearer image of Joyce?s depiction of masculinity as a construct forever in conflict presents itself.

Additional Information

A Thesis Submitted to the University of North Carolina Wilmington in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts
Language: English
Date: 2009
Joyce James 1882-1941. Dubliners--Criticism and interpretation, Masculinity in literature
Joyce, James, 1882-1941. Dubliners -- Criticism and interpretation
Masculinity in literature

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