The reality of the Famine

When doing the assignment about the Irish/Dublin famine it accrued to me that we don’t know what the reality of that depression was like. Yes, we have general descriptions of people homeless with no food, missing limbs … but these are general descriptions. We are missing the individualized mindsets, what people are thinking, what it feels like, their state of being. Not a lot is written about the mentality or the state of mind of the people in Dublin during harsh years. In my paper, I seek to find what Dublin was like (through the literature of James Joyce) historically, mentally, and physically. How different people viewed Dublin. How children viewed it, how adults viewed it, and how the elders saw Dublin as a whole. In Joyce’s Dubliners, we observe multiple perspectives of the same image — that being the city of Dublin— and the way these different figures preserve Dublin. Joyce provides concrete details about specific events that occur to different characters, we see how the characters think, how they feel, and what they fear. We empathize with these characters. Seeing them stuck in what one might imagine purgatory feels like, no place to improve and letting time do its work. In my paper, I also want to give attention to the actions our characters are forced into given the circumstances they find themselves in; moreover, to tie the characters with real-life people (of Dublin) to see if any other choices would have led to different outcomes for the people. 

1 Comment

  1. Hi Levon! I really love the root of your topic, the connection of historical events to individual perspectives of the people who lived through them. I also believe that Joyce’s works are a great example of the power communication of emotional experience holds. Additionally, as you mentioned, the stories within Dubliners offer multiple perspectives that you can analyze and compare.

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