DublinersDubliners was published in 1914 on the newspaper The Irish Homestead with the pseudonym of Stephen Dedalus.
All the fifteen stories are set in Dublin. Dubliners are considered as afflicted people
They are arranged into four groups dealing with childhood, adolescence, mature life and public life.
The last story, The Dead, can be considered Joyce’s first masterpiece. It differs from the other stories because it is more elaborate.
The use of epiphanyIt is rich in symbolism. Each story is realistic and full of external details with deeper meanings.
Joyce wanted to take the reader beyond the usual aspects of life by employing the epiphany, that is the ‘sudden spiritual manifestation’ caused by a trivial gesture, an external object or a banal situation that leads the character to a sudden self-realisation about himself/herself. So, understanding the epiphany in each story is the key to the story itself.
A pervasive theme: paralysisThe paralysis of Dublin is both physical, caused by external forces, and moral, linked to politics, religion and culture.
Dubliners either accept their condition for the simple reason that they are not aware of it or they have no courage and are paralyzed to overcome their condition.
The climax of the stories is when the characters realize and become aware of their own paralysis.
The alternative to the paralysis is escape that always leads to failure.
Narrative techniqueHe uses different points of view and each story is told by the perspective of a character.
He widely uses a narrated monologue, through free direct speech and free direct thought.
He also employs various linguistic registers that suit age, the social class and the role of each character.