Paths to Paralysis: Symbolism and Narratology in James Joyce’s “Araby” and “Eveline”

Golbarg Khorsand


There are three nets that shape the basic notions in Joyce's works: religion, language and nationality. The dilemma of his plots revolves around at least one of these issues. Joyce believes that for a man to seek and reach the true nature of freedom in his life, it is necessary to leave these boundaries behind. Usually in most cases, one of the characters in Joyce's writings is captive by those nets. They are put in a dramatic situation in which a revelation would lead him/her to an epiphany. Joyce's use of symbolism and realism and also his different layers of narration is what endow significance, life and glamour to the simple plots of his stories. The main point of concentration in this paper is to define the notion of paralysis in terms of symbolism and narratology, respectively in the two short stories "Araby" and "Eveline"; to show how different symbols and different voices draw upon the desired theme of the author; how religion, language and nationality are packed into variant symbols in order to enhance their significant function in issue of paralysis and how the various methods of narration can depict the nature of paralysis with which the characters struggle.


Joyce; paralysis; symbolism; narratology; Araby; Eveline

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