Essay On James Joyces The Dubl Essay

This essay has a total of 1673 words and 6 pages.

Essay On James Joyces The Dubl


Maria and Little Chandler are characters who have life goals, however, due to their
inadequate personalities these goals are impossible. They are rather weak and helpless
people which is only enhanced through their childlike appearances and mannerisms. Their
inadequacy to deal with life is a major obstacle in achieving their goals: Maria's hidden
goal being marriage/love and Little Chandler's goal being to become a successful poet.
This infantile inadequacy is physically and openly displayed through their consistent
feelings of shyness and timidity and through their reactions to marriage. The major
difference between Little Chandler's inability to correctly deal with life and that of
Maria is their outward action. Little Chandler shows through his mannerisms his inadequacy
while Maria only shows hers through her mindset not making it public. Maria does not
generally truly believe herself inadequate. However, through much of her behavior it seems
that at times she does.

Maria and Little Chandler are very inadequate thereby not allowing themselves to achieve
their full potential. This inadequacy is stressed throughout Clay and A Little Cloud and
is emphasized by Maria's and Little Chandler's very childlike appearances and mannerisms.
Maria is described as a 'very, very small person'; (Clay, pg. 87) as Little Chandler 'gave
one the idea of being a little man.'; (Cloud, pg. 60) Little Chandler's 'frame was
fragile...his voice was quiet...his hands were white and small'; (Cloud, pg. 60) and he
had a row of 'childish white teeth'; (Cloud, pg. 60) also giving him an adolescent
appearance. One also receives the impression of Little Chandler's childlike inadequacy as
he enters the bar in which he meets Gallaher. 'The bar seemed to him to be full of people
and he felt that the people were observing him curiously.';(Cloud, pg. 64) Upon reading
this statement, one pictures a small child walking into a room full of adults and
consequently feeling somewhat inferior. The word 'seemed'; also stands out. The fact of
whether or not the bar was actually 'full of people'; remains ambiguous leaving the only
known fact to be that Little Chandler sees the bar as being full, once again stressing his
inadequacy. This relates to Maria's ferreting 'her way quickly among the crowds'; (Clay,
pg. 90) after exiting the tram and after arriving at Downes's cakeshop it was 'so full of
people that it was a long time before she could get herself attended to.'; (Clay, pg. 90)
The phrase 'she could get herself attended to'; implies some kind of effort on Maria's
part to call attention to herself. This would suggest that the reason that she did not get
attended to sooner was not solely that there were a lot of people in the cakeshop, but
also that she is so small that she is lost among the crowd. Maria's size-deficiency is
also stressed when she is on the tram when it 'was full and she had to sit on the little
stool at the end of the car facing all the people.'; (Clay, pg. 89) A childlike image is
projected into the mind of the reader after reading '...on the little stool...facing all
the people'; and is further stressed when it is brought to the attention of the reader
that she sat with 'her toes barely touching the floor.'; (Clay, pg. 89) Joyce obviously
wishes to stress Maria's smallness by placing Maria on a 'little stool'; and yet still
have her toes 'barely touching the floor.'; However, although Joyce shows Maria to be
'insufficient'; for the outside world she does not generally see herself as such. She
feels that she has 'a nice tidy little body'; (Clay, pg. 89) and she looks at herself with
'quaint affection.'; (Clay, pg. 89)

Other than their juvenile appearances and mannerisms, Maria and Little Chandler were also
inadequate due to their timidity. Maria's shyness is shown through her encounter with the
elderly gentleman on the tram. The gentleman began to 'chat with her'; (Clay, pg. 90) and
as he did she 'favoured him with demure nods and hems.'; (Clay, pg. 90) The text gives no
evidence that Maria have a conversation with the man on the train or even replied to the
man's comments with the spoken English language. Rather, she simply gives him 'demure nods
and hems.'; Demure is the key word in this phrase because it shows that even her 'nods and
hems'; were modest, shy and reserved in manner: the definition of demure. Maria could not
bring herself to actually speak to the man until she was leaving the tram at the Canal
Bridge.

Little Chandler's shyness is one of his greatest obstacles. He feels that 'Gallaher was
his inferior in birth and education'; (Cloud, pg. 69), and he was 'sure that he could do
something better than his friend had ever done.'; (Cloud, pg. 69) However, something
'stood in his way:'; 'His unfortunate timidity!'; (Cloud, pg. 69) Little Chandler feels
that he has the potential to be a great poet, but 'shyness had always held him back.';
(Cloud, pg. 61) Gallaher is a much more outgoing man than Little Chandler. Gallaher has
'...thousands of rich Germans and Jews rotten with money, that'd only be too glad...';
(Cloud, pg. 70) due to his outgoing nature. Gallaher's success can be pinned upon this
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