Dubliners-counterparts Essay, Research Paper
By: James Joyce
After reading several stories from James Joyce?s Dubliners, many of the themes are similar. There is not usually an enormous plot, because all of his stories are about working people in Dublin. Every story has a very important theme that he brings out through his description of these regular people?s actions and through the setting. He does not use a normal story line, a plot, or a definite climax and resolution. In the story ?Counterparts,? he uses the theme of regular people?s lives, religion and alcoholism, all of which are recurring themes in his other stories.
Every aspect of Farrington?s life has no hope for improvement. He is scolded because he didn?t finish a contract in time. His job is done half hearted, without any passion. Farrington is a clerk who copies legal documents by hand. While being reprimanded by Mr. Alleyne, his only answers were mumbling sentences that did not stand up for himself. The way he talks demonstrates his lack of excitement he has to live. Farrington did not finish the contract in time, but handed it in without the last two pages, hoping nobody would notice. When Alleyne comes down to reprimand him for not finishing the contract, Farrington attempts to stick up for himself. Mr. Alleyne asks the rhetorical question ?Do you think me an utter fool?? Farrington answers quickly with ?I don?t think sir, that that?s a fair question to put to me.? Mr. Alleyne is embarrassed because Miss Delacour is in the room. There were rumors that Miss Delacour was having an affair with Mr. Alleyne. The rumors said that he was dating her because she was a wealthy lady. Now if he did not apologize to Mr. Alleyne, he would be fired, but Farrington doesn?t care. His thoughts are not on his job, but on how he is going to get drunk.
The theme of alcoholism shows up throughout the story. After Farrington?s first scolding by his manager, he takes a break and makes a quick stop at O?Neill?s shop for a glass of port. He could not wait until after work for a drink. After leaving the office, he tries to find money so that he could quench his ?thirst.? Farrington knows that he cannot ask for an advancement on his paycheck, so he pawns his watch, receives six shillings, and dives into a raucous night. Farrington is the man of the night because he tells his friends O?Halloran and paddy Leonard about how he stood up to Mr. Alleyne in front of Miss Delacour. Just when everything was going right, a young man named Weathers challenges him to an arm wrestle. He returns home angry and unhappy because he loses. When he gets home, Joyce shows how the effects of alcoholism affect not just the alcoholic. As he makes his way home, he thinks about his day with anger and vengefulness. Talking back to his manager, pawning his watch, and spending all his money were just some of the events that discontented Farrington. His wife is out when he gets home, and dinner is not ready for him. This frustrates him even further, and has to take his anger out on something. Farrington?s son is willing to make dinner for his father, but he just needed to release his anger. He took a walking stick and beat the little boy. It is ironic because while being beaten, his son screams ??I?ll say a Hail Mary for you pa, if you don?t beat me??
This brings in his theme of religion. It plays a large part in Dublin?s regular, working class people. Farringon?s son demonstrates the importance of religion because he does not fight his father, but just tells him that he will pray for him. Another illustration of religion in their lives is when Farrington gets home from bar hopping. His wife isn?t home because she is at the chapel. This shows that the people of Dublin go to the chapel and pray all the time. The regular people put much faith in religion.
Joyce did an amazing job explaining the hardships of regular people?s lives. He showed the social, economical and emotional sides of these working people?s lives.