Statue of James Joyce in Dublin
James Joyce set his main works in Dublin, his birthplace (luogo di nascita).
In the Dubliners (1914) the author wants to show a picture of Dublin as a town paralyzed into his culture and traditions. The protagonists of the 15 stories are, conditioned by oppressive canons of personal, religious and social conformity, fail to free themselves (non riescono a liberarsi) from frustration, alcoholism or inertia. To convey this idea he uses a realistic language mixed with symbolic images and, In particular, Joyce uses the epiphany, a sudden revelation of a hidden thought (un’improvvisa rivelazione di un pensiero nascosto): an image, a music, a meaningless (privo di significato) event can provoke the epiphany.
The stories cover four basic aspects of man’s life: childhood, adolescence, maturity and public life. The last story, The Dead, is outside this pattern (schema); it was added later (aggiunta più tardi) and it seems to offer a less negative “epiphany” as the protagonist – Gabriel Conroy – thinks to go away to have a journey and free himself from the oppression.