Examine the Role That One of Leonard’s Ideas (Eg. Joyce’s “Style,” Complex Convergence, Epiphanies, Scrupulous Meanness) Plays in the Last Scene of “The Dead"
The use of the direct speech creates more realism in the story. But this technique is also a manner to show the trivial dialogues of characters, for instance, the conversations between Mary Jane, Aunt Kate and Mr. D’Arcy are totally banal. His narrative technique is unique and superb, but is not the only remarkable feature of the story, likewise his use of the language creates a realistic atmosphere during the party and reveals the authentic essence of the characters, the deepest reasons of their motivations, and the ways through his minds wander.
Epiphanies in James Joyce’s Dubliners Characters in Dubliners experience revelations in their every day lives which James Joyce called epiphanies. Merriam Webster defines an epiphany as “an illuminating discovery, realization, or disclosure.” While word epiphany has a religious connotation, these epiphanies characters in Dubliners experience do not bring new experiences and possibility of reform that epiphanies usually have. Joyce’s epiphanies allow characters to better understand their circumstances, generally full of sadness and grief. After these revelations, characters go back to their lives with acceptance but frustration. Dubliners fail to see their situation fully, which is the reason they lacked reaching their full potential. Dubliners is full of characters in lethargic positions that Joyce saw as the fate of all Dubliners. In each story, he gave each individual the possibility of an epiphany, but often the characters failed to break through and see their ability to change their situations, because of this, some of these epiphanies occur only on the narrative level, showing the reader that the story’s character missed their epiphany.
In what concerns Joyce’s style of writing we can observe that he balances the objectivity – the attitude of “scrupulous meanness “ and sympathetic understanding of characters with the help of the stream of consciousness and epiphanies Scrupulous meanness - ‘Scrupulousness’ is a crucial element both in Joyce’s use of language, and in the structure and form of the stories. ‘Scrupulous meanness’ refers to a most complex and heavily allusive style that determines the reading of Dubliners. From the minimum of words Joyce succeeds to extract the maximum effect. Joyce puts this style forward as a means to express his moral intent The Sisters * “sensation of freedom as if [he] had been freed from something by the priest’s death “ * “desired to confess something. I felt my soul receding into something pleasant and vicious region […] I too was smiling feebly as if to absolve the simoniac of his sins” * “…I wouldn’t say he was exactly…but there was something uncanny about him. I’ll tell you my opinion…”(incomplete sentences of aunt) * “one of those …peculiar cases” * “scrupulosity in the Catholic Church is a very real, potentially paralyzing, mental disease”(Bremen) Stream of consciousness - Depicts the multitudinous thoughts and feelings which pass through the mind. Eveline * “She had consented to go away, to leave her home. Was that wise? She tried to weigh each side of the question. In her home anyway she had shelter and food; she had those whom she had known all her life about her. Of course she had to work hard, both in the house and at business. What would they say of her in the Stores when they found out that she had run away with a fellow? Say she was a fool, perhaps; and her place would be filled up by advertisement. Miss Gavan would be glad. She had always had an edge on her,especially whenever there were people listening.” Araby
The stories emit, as Joyce said, a ‘special odour of corruption’, and he intended them to show how all the ages of Dublin man, from childhood, through adolescence, maturity, and public life, breathed it in. But, writing from abroad, he came to think that he had perhaps been ‘unnecessarily harsh’, partly for neglecting the ‘hospitality’ of Dublin, which he thought unique. The last, last-written, and longest story, ‘The Dead’, makes up that lack, and it is the greatest thing in the book.