The element of night in Joyce’s The Sisters and Clay Essay Sample

In Joyce’sThe SistersandClay. visible radiation and dark imagination combine and clang in the dominant component of dark. Apart from working as a scene. dark besides serves as a symbol for the characters’ dark and light individualities ( their defects and virtuousnesss ) and worlds. Night is a paradox. It hides and at the same clip exposes the characters’ true and imperfect selves—for illustration. the spiritually paralytic Father Flynn inSistersand the cut off brotherhood of Joe and Alphy inClay.

In the former. dark is closely intertwined with the priest’s “beautiful death” ( 5 ) what his sisters sees as his “eternal reward” ( 6 ) . On the one manus. dark and dark signify the emptiness of his religion. like an “idle goblet on his breast” ( 7 ) . The storyteller muses: “If he was dead… I would see the contemplation of taper on the darkened blind…” ( 1 ) . Alternatively of stand foring light the candle becomes more a metaphor of decease and moral uncertainness.

Light and dark are besides at drama inThe Sistersrepeating image of the “dark room” ( 2. 7 ) . To both the male child and the priest. it signifies a sort of rousing. This waking up is non a rose-colored one though. In both instances. religious freedom has a monetary value. Flynn has to allow travel of the moral centre offered by his religion. Meanwhile. the male child has to predate his artlessness and see the “pleasant and barbarous region” the visible radiation and dark stages of life.

InClay.dark ab initio connotes felicity for Maria: “She hoped they would hold a nice evening” ( 66 ) . However. the Hallow Eve she good prepared for proves below ideal. A “veritable peacemaker” ( 64 ) . Maria nevertheless fails to stop the bad blood between her former charges. “But Joe cried that God might strike him stone dead if of all time he spoke to his brother once more and Maria said she was regretful she had mentioned the matter” ( 67 ) . Again. the visible radiation of merriment and rapprochement is defeated by the dark of choler. The fire which should hold symbolized a “very nice Joe” ( 67 ) is figuratively doused by a cross and unforgiving one.

Plants Cited

Joyce. James. “Clay. ”Dubliners. Ed. Shane Weller. New York: Dover Publication. 1991.


—— . “The Sisters. ” Weller 1-7.

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