James Joyce - The Sisters

Topics: Modernist literature, Fiction, Modernism Pages: 5 (1167 words) Published: September 23, 2013

He is a 20th century Irish modernist short story writer, novelist and poet. He was affected from naturalism, romanticism and realism.
He was a master of the English language.
He uses stream of consciousness technique and his works are full of parodies, allusions, inner monologues. His works are rich in characterization and brood humour.
His psychological perceptions and innovative literary techniques make him one of the most influential writers of the 20th century. He is a key figure in development of modernist novel along with Virginia Woolf. Although he spend much of his time outside of Ireland, Joyce’s Irish experiences are dominant in his works. He is a self exiled writer from his own country. He especially wrote about places, people, events he left behind. He is exiled because of his writing freely about his culture, region. He wants to write especially primity, not modern society full with machines. He uses impressionistic language.


Modernism is a 20th century literary, artistic and cultural movement. It is a reaction against historical and academic traditions conventions. Modernist writers think that new is good.
Individuality and personal experiences are important.
They believe “Art for art’s sake”.
Plot and theme are not important.
Literary devices are important.
They use stream of consciousness technique and impressionistic language. Characters are more important than the plot.
They examine the inner side of characters.
Characters are from middle class and they try to reach upper class. Time is generally short like one day, one night.
There is no chronological order in their works.
Language is simple but content is complex.
They stress on one object and make stress through the whole story to draw attention. They use their own experiences in their works.
Modernists are affected from First World War.


This term covers many political, cultural and artistic movements. In this time, writers were influenced by the First World War. So, they tell about psychological wounds of the war experiences. It’s a pessimistic century.

Work and family life changed rapidly due to the economic upswing during the 1920s. There were great industrial developments.
People went to big cities to work. Population increased in cities. Class of boss and workers occured. Rich become richer and poor become poorer. Racial relations between black and white, the gap between classes, prejudice in the society are themes. Relations are rare from one class to another.

Changes in eating habits caused a huge changes in transportation and farming.


It is 1895 in Dublin, Ireland when an unnamed boy comes down to supper one evening. Family friend Old Cotter is telling the boy’s aunt and uncle that the boy’s mentor, Father James Flynn, has passed away after a third stroke. The two men share the opinion that spending time with Father Flynn was unhealthy for the boy, who should have been playing “with young lads of his own age.” In bed later, the boy tries to understand why Old Cotter and his uncle would not want him to associate with Father Flynn; then he imagines or dreams about the priest trying to confess something to him.

The following morning, the boy visits Father Flynn’s house and finds a card displays outsideannouncing the man’s death, but he does not knock on the door. He feels less sad than he had expected. In fact, the boy experiences “a sensation of freedom” as a result of his mentor’s death.

That evening, the boy’s aunt takes him on a formal visit to the house of mourning. He sees the body of Ftaher Flynn lying on an open casket, after which the boy’s aunt and priest’s two sisters converse about deceased, implying that he was mentally unstable for some time before dying and that he may have been involved in some scandal or other.

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