The following sample essay on A Little Cloud James Joyce Summary provides important aspects of the issue and arguments for and against as well as the needed facts. Read on this essay’s introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. Paralysis In James Joyce’s “Araby”, “Eveline” and “ A Little Cloud” the chief theme that holds the stories together is the failure to find way out of paralysis. Though, at first glance, the stores seem simply to be realistic, objective descriptions of everyday life in Dublin, they are psychologically eventful.
The psychological action often takes the form of an epiphany in which a commonplace action or object brings a character an unexpected revelation truth and a deep understanding of life.
The moral center of these short sttories , however, is not paralysis alone by the revelation of paralysis to its victims – how it affects the characters emotional state by rendering them helpless and with the inability to act or make decisions. This paralysis exits due to religious, social or political forces.
The dream to escape, with the delusion of detachment from these entrapments, is what Joyce’s characters are seeking. However, by sudden spiritual insights presented with Joyce’s epiphanies, the characters realize their inability to change their current frustrating situations that they are trapped with.
Araby”, the third short story in the Dubliners is about a boy who becomes disappointed with the world of self-delusion. Throughout the story, Joyce uses symbolism and contrasts darkness and lightness. The contrast between dark and light represents the boy’s world and how he is living in a world of spiritual stagnation, and as a result, his outlook on the world is severely limited.
He is innocent, ignorant and lost. He can only see specific images of a frustrating boring life in a dying and unimaginative city that presented his paralyzed environment.
He is searching for the light that he needs for his spirituality. Mangan’s sister, the only symbol of light, appears in the boy’s world of darkness. Because of her, he finds himself entering a new experience, his first love and his imagination and vocabulary while thinking about her is limited by the experiences of his religious training and he romantic novels he has read. The result is an idealistic and confused feeling of physical and spiritual love. Although he has “Never spoken to her, except for a few casual words”, her name became a “summons to all his foolish blood” .
She becomes an image to all he seeks. In his only conversation with her, she reveals that she will not be able to go to the “Araby” bazaar, although she would like to. She suggests that he should go. He speaks impulsively: “If I go, I will bring you some thing”. His opportunity has come. he will go to “Araby”, which represents his soul’s luxuries, then he can bring a talisman, the Arabian symbol of restoring life. At this point, he feels that the lost light of his world will be restored.
However, he spends his days and nights thinking and dreaming about the enchanted Eastern world, “Araby”. He builds his hopes and dreams on the moment when he goes to the “Araby” bazaar and brings something for the one he loves. The delay he encounters from his uncle to get the money needed to go to the “Araby” bazaar frustrates him. Finally, his uncle arrives. His uncle feels sorry for him, because he knows that he will be disappointed after all these dreams of going to the bazaar.
He reminds him about “The Arabs farewell to his steed” which stands for the Arabs willingness to welcome his departed horse is only in his dreams. It mirrors his farewell to romantic illusions. Arriving at the bazaar, he finds it nearly empty. He realizes, “a silence like that which pervades a church after service” (Joyce 26). The church is empty; it is not attended by the faithful nor does it contain the spirituality he seeks. Suddenly the boy realizes that he has placed all his love and hope in a world that doesn’t exists, except in his imagination.
He experiences an epiphany, his awakening moment, from a world full of light and truth to broken dreams that led to the first steps of his adulthood. From the youthfulness frustration and disillusioned world in a paralyzed society, Joyce’s journey continues to give us a glimpse of passivity in the adolescence world in the same dying city; this journey started by “Eveline”, the fourth story in Dubliners. “Eveline” concentrates on a nineteen-year old girl’s inner conflict which consists of a contrast between the promise she gave to her dying mother and the need to escape her abusive father.
The stillness and lack of movement in Eveline in particular is what Brewster Ghiselin explains in his article “The Unity of Dubliners” : “ In Dubliners the meaning of movement is further complicated by the thematic important that symbolic paralysis which Joyce himself referred to, an arrest imposed from within not by the “nets” of external circumstance, but by a deficiency of impulse of power”. The stillness can be seen in the first three sentences that Joyce chose to be the setting for most of the story: “She sat at the window watching the evening invade the avenue.
Her head was leaned against the window curtains and in her nostrils was the odor of dusty cretonne. She was tired. ” Although the third sentence is very brief, it directly announces to the reader of Eveline’s exhaustion – how she is tired of her life in Ireland. Eveline’s problems with the father’s violence adds to her exhaustion: “Even now, though she was over nineteen, she sometimes felt herself in danger of her father’s violence. ” and is a metaphor for the imprisonment of Ireland.
However, the meaning connecting the words “invade” and “the dusk” give the reader a sense of Eveline’s passivity and that her “Fatigue was more than physical, it was a dreadful weariness of spirit as she approached the verge of impasse” The theme of paralysis is dominating her thoughts, the main problem Eveline is suffering from, as are all the other characters in Dubliners. She feels paralyzed of her fear to leave Ireland. It’s all about her “state of mind: that she has been reduced by her situation and by her own reaction to a helpless, passive condition.
By comparing her to an animal, the teller does not suggest by any means that she is subhuman, simply that her condition is one of severe, paralyzing fear” (Riqelme 76) After Eveline receives her epiphany, she finds that her hard life that she is used to living is much easier than confronting her few and discovering a new enjoyable like with Frank. In “A Little Cloud”, the theme of paralysis is again presented, but this time by juxtaposing what is being said with what is being though, even more specifically what is told and what’s going on in little Chandler’s mind.
A great example is in the way the narrator presents the physical surroundings in the street while Chandler makes his way to meet his friend Gallagher at the bar where “while little Chandler ignores his present physical surroundings and their past, the narrator turns them both into striking, rhythmical language”. It’s the technique that symbolized with the story’s title “ Little Cloud”. It’s “ Little Chandler’s” cloudy mind and his paralyzed character that enabled him to recognize his identity or his surroundings until the end of the story where his miserable epiphany is realized.
The theme of paralysis in “Little Cloud” is first offered by the location of little Chandler’s office in “Kings Inn” where Chandler is sitting in his office watching figures through the window. This gives the reader the same sense of passivity encountered in reading “Eveline” where she was sitting at the window, to conclude that Chandler’s office symbolizes his first imprisonment. His economic position and his uninteresting, dull job that offer him little to no satisfaction except for the slight pleasure he feels at the end of the workday signify his acceptance of paralysis as an unavoidable condition with no hope to escape.
Little Chandler accepts his paralysis as his fate as Joyce explains “ he felt how useless it was to struggle against fortune, this being the burden of wisdom which the ages had bequeathed to him” (66) We also get a glimpse into Chandler’s domestic life, which shows how paralyzed the whole family is. Little Chandler realizes, while holding his little child that he is unhappy with everything in his life, including is wife. The baby’s crying becomes a metaphor for the feelings that Chandler has been overcome with all day.
In addition, he realizes that he is “ a prisoner for life” as the baby’s crying becomes screaming. Chandler’s tragic epiphany was that his present situation is his own fault, in which he then bursts out in a should at his helpless child. The theme of paralysis is repeated again to signify an unproductive, unhappy man in the stage of maturity that is trapped between his incomplete identity and the social and political entrapments which surround him. Many people today are suffering from the entrapments that Joyce’s characters are suffering from.
Due to cultural, traditional, religious or political forces, people live under pressure that limits their minds and hearts. Years pass and the pressure piles up on every aspect of our human identities until they lose their self-possessions and end up with a wide spread acceptance for their self-imprisonment and oppressive ways of living. Consequently, people’s views of life become narrower, their hearts and minds become rigid, and their inner being die years before their physical death.
Joyce’s epiphanies, which are considered to be his creative fictional invention and his writing technique are both employed to give readers means to visualize their position from the world. If they happen to be one of the few lucky individuals whom are able to rescue themselves from the traps of special conventions such as religions and political expectations; only at that moment, the moment of detachment, the moment of freedom, people should consider themselves alive.