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Ambiguity of Initiation in the Childhood Triptych of James Joyce’s Dubliners

The three initial stories of James Joyce’s Dubliners deal with the particular stage of human life in which the kid leaves the safe shores of childhood and begins to face the reality that surrounds him. Such a moment of passage is always connected with the theme of initiation, considered either as an act of social inclusion or as a process of personal and critical growth. Studying the eclectic cluster of symbolical references and intertextual suggestions (comprehending the gnostic doctrines, esotericism, shamanism, Greek and Norse mythical tradition, medieval romance etc.), it is possible to comprehend better the method the author uses to enrich his naturalistic depiction of Dublin’s social reality and the sense of ambiguity that dominates Joyce’s prose.

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5 Foreword As readers of Joyce’s Dubliners, we may at first be struck by the great sense of reality that inhabits the stories of the collection. Especially in the opening childhood trilogy, this realism is not achieved only through the naturalistic representation of the social and historical Dublin, but also through the portrayal of the forming childish consciousness that lives in this context. Joyce describes the inner world of Everychild, decanted from the constant mixture of real life and fantasy, games and readings, fancies and undiscovered desires, curiosity and expectations, the strange alchemy in which the roots of our whole life are plunged, defining who we are and who we will became. Moreover, the first three story of Dubliners deal with the very moment in which the world of childhood clashes with the adult one, representing the slow loss of innocence and freedom and the birth of the mature and social consciousness. This particular passage is seen with outmost importance in every human culture and, likewise, on a symbolic plan, every inner spiritual growth has been always associated with the moment of human life in which one dies as a child and performs his/her own rebirth in a new form. This phase of passage and transformation is the one that rites and practises of initiation of various periods, places and societies are always meant to regulate. Through the immense pool of symbolic, intertextual and linguistic complexities that runs underneath the Joycean text, many hints to various initiatory themes can be found. In her Rite of Passage in the Narratives of Dante and Joyce, Margaret J. Fraser focuses on Joyce’s late and major works, studying the importance of the general concept of initiation: oddly enough, she almost ignores his early short stories. Comparing Dubliners’ opening triptych with the dense cluster of initiatory themes from cultural anthropology, history of religions, hermetic traditions and literature, it is possible to understand better some of the typical ambiguities of Joyce’s narrative method, as well as the artistic formation of one of the most prominent writers of the last century.

Laurea liv.I

Facoltà: Lingue e Letterature Straniere

Autore: Jacopo Cout Contatta »

Composta da 88 pagine.

 

Questa tesi ha raggiunto 105 click dal 03/11/2015.

Disponibile in PDF, la consultazione è esclusivamente in formato digitale.