The Influence of Growth and Development on Religion

It’s evident to see the impact of how Joyce viewed religion in his book Dubliners. Raised as a Roman Catholic and educated in Roman Catholic schools, Joyce decided to stop pursuing Catholicism when he entered university. Although some may argue that he eventually reconciled with his faith, its evident that his wavering belief in Catholicism heavily influenced his writing.

I do find it interesting that religion plays the biggest role in the first two stories – the ones that supposedly talk about the beginning of your life. We can immediately see that the church isn’t something that evokes selflessness and piety, but just seems rather odd. This theme is reflected in Father Flynn’s relationship with the young narrator and his episodes of odd behavior in “The Sisters” as well as when Father Butler is “religion-ist” towards Protestants, even at such a young age. Even when one becomes older, the church is not a beacon of righteousness, but simply becomes more transparent with their moral decay and materialism.

I really enjoy how Joyce did not shy away from this topic when writing about the routines Dubliners undergo. While routines are often beneficial to make sure that everything goes according to plan, they can become harmful and cause various problems to oneself, such as addiction. I believe Joyce relates these same idea to religion.

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