Dubliners Short Stories
This refers to the style of the short stories in Dubliners. Each of the fifteen stories are written in this way. The first few stories refer to the specific theme of childhood, and they are all narrated by children. The fact that ‘nothing is unnecessary’ means that all of the information in the story is relevant. In the short stories the entire plot is not laid out on a plate. There are certain things that you have to work out for yourself.
In the first story ‘The Sisters’ there is a hint that the priest is a distorted figure. ‘I wouldn’t like children of mine to have too much to say to a man like that’. Here Old Cotter a friend of the boy’s uncle gives his opinion of the priest. In this it has overtones of a warning as if the priest is a paedophile. Here the reader is expected to ‘supply the missing pieces. ‘ In the short story not everything is instantly apparent. They require the reader to interpret for themselves what is going on.
In the first story a priest dies instead of focusing on the detail of how he died Joyce only talks of the priests ‘third stroke. ‘ The short stories don’t have an ending as such that corresponds with the rest of the story, this also leaves the reader in suspense ‘So then, of course, when they saw that, that made them think that there was something gone wrong with him… ‘ This is the ending of the first story. It doesn’t even end in a full stop it has an unfinished sentence signifying the end of the story.
It puts the reader on an edge as they have reached the end of the story without realising it. In the next story ‘An Encounter’ two boys come across a man in a field. One of them exclaims that the man is a ‘queer old josser’ and suspects he is engaging in a solitary sexual act; ‘I say! Look what he’s doing! ‘ This gives an indication that the man is masturbating, yet as the boys are young and nai?? ve to correspond with the story, what the man does is not described in detail. It depends on how the reader interprets it. Read The Boarding House Essay
The end of the story like the first is also a little peculiar; ‘And I was penitent for in my heart I had always despised him a little’. Here one of the boys talks of the other, yet it seems strange because throughout the book they had always got on and then at the end there is this subtle indication that everything is not as they seem. This seems to be the case throughout the whole book. The third story ‘Araby’ seems to offer the reader a sense of eccentric and exotic culture. In ‘Araby’ a sense of escapade from the real world can be interpreted.
Joyce wrote these short stories from his perspective and he gives his opinion of the country ‘An uninhabited house of two stories stood at the blind end’ Joyce talks of the ‘paralysis’ of the country and in this instance is expressed through the houses which existed in Dublin. The story gives an indication to the Irish idiosyncrasies for an English reader. ‘The syllables of the word Araby were called to me through the silence in which my soul luxuriated and cast an Eastern enchantment over me’ In reality however the Araby turns out to be a church bazaar.
This gives an indication of the not everything is what it seems and specifies superficiality. Throughout each of the stories in the book there is a sense of partiality. It seems as if the stories aren’t quite finished, this is only because they have been misinterpreted. Each story is finished its just that you may have to reread some parts because ‘nothing is unnecessary’ if it has been included then it bares a resemblance to the story. The partiality has been included by Joyce to indicate that there are different perspectives to something; it just depends on how the reader interprets it.