• The Origin of the Collection:
Joyce found the basements for ‘Dubliners’ in the oppressive effects of religious, political, cultural and economic forces on the lives of lower-middle-class Dubliners; he made a realistic picture of Dublin’s people.
‘Dubliners’ consists of fifteen short stories; they disclose human situations, moments of intensity and lead to a moral, social or spiritual revelation.
• The Use of Epiphany:
Joyce thought that his function was to take the reader beyond the usual aspects of life and in order to do that he used the epiphany, “the sudden spiritual manifestation” caused by a trivial gesture, and external object or a banal situation.
Understanding the epiphany in each story if often the key to the story itself.
The episode described is apparently unimportant, but essential to the life of the characters.
• A Pervasive Theme: Paralysis:
Dubliners accept their condition because they are not aware of it or because they lack of courage to break the chains that blind them.
The opposite of paralysis is ‘escape’; but in all the stories this ‘escape’ fails.
• Narrative Technique:
Each story is told from the perspective of a character.