Language Discourse in James Joyce’s Short Stories The Grace and The Araby: A Cultural Studies

Safoura Eskandari


This study aims to investigate how the notion of language as cultural practices which construct social and cultural products function in James Joyce selected short stories, The Grace and The Araby within the framework of cultural materialism. Language is major concern of cultural studies and language is as the symbol of power. Language in literary texts plays a major role in constructing meaning and reflecting the author`s intention. James Joyce could be placed among the most dominant cultural authors whose concern is the material life, social class, social identity and cultural crisis. As an outstanding author, Joyce is well known for his typical depiction, musical decoration as well as his sticking to proper cultural and social materials and issues such as religious matters. His selected short stories of Dubliners, revolve around the lifestyle of the Irish middle-class in Dublin around the late 1800s and early 1900s. James Joyce is not so much a writer as he is a painter of words. His works appear simplistic at first glance, but under analysis they reveal the inner world of a character and the reality of the common man through symbols, metaphors, and sensory analysis. Dublin is the city of silence which threads its way through the lives of the Dubliners, for this reason Joyce‘s characters are presented in a silent state. Such silence denotes the sterility of communication and the absence of the art of conversation. Most of Dubliners characters are portrayed as having the ability of verbal activity and they can speak, yet in most cases this ability fails them and they become tongue-tied .The only way which is left for them is speak in a whispering voice. In the modern age, life has completely changed and the city has become a modernized one. This latter is the epitome of such change that has a great effect upon the modern life, bringing with it the trauma and frustration of modern failure. Joyce’s attempts to harness the effects of language and, increasingly with time, languages, may arguably be selected as the feature of his writing which mostly conditioned its technical transformations. Language is only one of those practices implicated in the symptoms of the crisis of late capitalist society. Faced with the ideological mystification of personal lives, Raymond Williams stressed the imperative of establishing connections by emphasizing the role of means of communication, he speaks of "productive communication in shaping community.


cultural materialism; language paralysis; hegemony; discourse

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