James joyce essay contest

Bloomsday Essay Contest

This was just like it. With participants gathered around the pub's bar, readings with brogues, and many of the men sporting Joyce's floppy hat, spectacles and neatly trimmed moustache, Murphy's on Franklin Street had the feel of Davey Byrne 's Pub, the Dublin gathering spot in the novel. According to Meyers, local interest in Bloomsday has grown in popularity, from 15 attendees last year to more than 70 Sunday.

He spoke of Joyce being a literary genius, a wunderkind who at age 10 won a national essay contest, and went on to influence modern literature. He said Joyce's genius is seen in his use of 18 different writing techniques in each of the chapters, each with a different theme. Stream-of-consciousness is among Joyce's most famous techniques.


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Simon is describing his college days, but Stephen hears only words. Phantoms stand around him, laughing bawdily. Suddenly, he realizes that those young men long ago shared the "brutish. Until now, Stephen has believed that his preoccupation with sex is unique; now, these young men who carved the word Foetus into a desk during an anatomy lesson are linked with Stephen.

He is not alone in imagining all sorts of dark fantasies. Meanwhile, Simon is unaware of his son's anguish; he continues talking about old friends and gives Stephen scrap ends of advice.


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For example, he tells Stephen to always behave like a gentleman and to associate with students who have gentlemanly ways — the ability to sing songs, tell stories, and excel in athletics. The shallowness of Simon's advice and his admission that he doesn't really know how to be a father leaves Stephen feeling isolated, angry, and unsympathetic to his father's melodramatic and sentimental murmurings.

Stephen tries to escape from his feelings of alienation, but he can recall only memories of childhood experiences when he felt alienated, lonely, and restless, as he does now. Meanwhile, Simon is still unaware of his son's sensitive turmoil, and he humiliates him when he and Stephen make a round of the local pubs. Stephen's mind whirls, and his emotions intensify as he hears about his father's and even his grandfather's youthful flirtations and drunken revelries. Slowly, Stephen begins to emotionally detach himself from the pub crowd and resign himself to the fact that "his childhood was dead or lost and with it his soul.

The next scene finds Stephen and his family waiting to claim the prize money for Stephen's winning essay. Excited at having so much money so suddenly, Stephen embarks on a lavish spending spree which includes dinners, gifts, and some redecoration of the Dedalus home. His elation in spending the prize money is surpassed only by his later feelings of shame as he realizes his foolishness in trying to "build a breakwater of order and elegance against the sordid tide of life.

Frustrated and disillusioned, Stephen dissociates himself from his family each evening. No longer a boy, Stephen wanders through the "dark slimy streets" of Dublin, trying to "appease the fierce longings of his heart," and, one night, feeling like a "baffled prowling beast," he arrives at the heart of Dublin's brothel district. Standing in a darkened doorway is a young, pink-gowned prostitute who invites Stephen to her room. It is here that Stephen is seduced into his first sexual experience; he "surrender[s] himself to her, body and mind.

Chapter II focuses on the end of Stephen's childhood and the beginning of his development as a young man. After his victory with the rector at Clongowes, Stephen begins to enjoy a relatively carefree summer with his family and friends at Blackrock.

His happiness is soon shattered, however, by his family's financial ruin and the emotional confusion of early adolescence. Early in the chapter, we see that he still enjoys childhood's physical activities — playing, running, and enacting "adventures"; by the end of the chapter, he will have grown increasingly sullen as he learns more about the problems of the adult world.

Departmental Writing Prizes

And he will have experienced sex with a prostitute. This chapter, recording Stephen's emotions and thoughts from approximately eleven through fourteen, captures in detail the oscillating mood swings of an adolescent. Although this stage of development is difficult for any young person, Stephen's problems seem more intense — at least to him — because of his exaggerated sense of isolation, his romantic idealism, and his instinctive curiosity about all aspects of life. On the verge of maturity, Stephen seeks an answer to the matter of manhood: what defines a man?

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James Joyce

His only role model is his pathetic father, Simon Dedalus. Simon tries to appear capable of caring for his family, but Stephen realizes that his father is a careless wastrel, responsible only for his family's increasing poverty. The family's move to a cheerless, foggy section of Dublin causes Stephen painful disappointment and humiliation. Joyce understands the misery which Stephen suffers. He graphically describes Stephen's first night in the Dedaluses' new home, where "the parlor fire would not draw" and the "half furnished uncarpeted room" was bathed in a "weak light over the boarded floor.

To Stephen, the future seems hopeless. He knows that he is a bright young man and that he is possibly talented, but how does one rise above a future destined for the poor house?

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Stephen's only escape from these harsh new surroundings is in wandering Dublin's streets and immersing himself in romantic reveries and fantasies. He is fascinated by his new freedom and the strange wildness of the city, but he is confused by his new and sudden arousals of sexual desire. The surging of sexual lust disturbs him because it seemingly conflicts with his chaste ideal of romantic love.

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He attempts to re-create a satisfactory solution in his verse-inspired daydream of the elusive E — C — , but fails. Stephen is a sexually maturing adolescent — confused, unhappy, and torn with strong feeling of restless alienation. In addition to developing the theme of a young artist's feelings of alienation, Joyce also stresses the theme of betrayal — particularly in Stephen's relationship with his father. Simon Dedalus, although he fails to meet his family's financial needs, is extremely concerned with providing a quality education for his children.

Stephen's father disappoints Stephen, however, because Simon and the other men laugh about Stephen's confrontation with Father Conmee — a triumphant moment in Stephen's young life, not something to have a "hearty laugh" about.

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Stephen feels dishonored and patronized by his elders. He particularly takes his father's betrayal to heart, and, years later, he will discover that he cannot forgive his father when Simon needs his son's sympathy and emotional support. Fire services: Smouldering issues. Democracy in America October 18th, The week in charts : Emissions and omissions. Graphic detail October 18th, Daily chart : The strange revival of vinyl records.

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