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A “Shade” Over Dublin: Reading Parnell’s Influence in James Joyce’s Dubliners

Williams, Michelle M. (2018) A “Shade” Over Dublin: Reading Parnell’s Influence in James Joyce’s Dubliners. Masters thesis, Radford University.

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Abstract

Just before the turn of the nineteenth to twentieth century, Charles Stewart Parnell, known as the “Uncrowned King of Ireland,” actively led Ireland towards independence from British colonization. His decade-long affair with Katherine O’Shea, the wife of Captain O’Shea, was largely ignored by the public until Parnell’s political power reached a high point. At that time, his enemies politicized the affair, causing a public scandal, and Parnell was exiled from the position of influence. The strain cost him his political office and his life; Parnell passed away on October 6, 1891, a few months after he married his beloved Katherine. His death left most of Ireland distraught at the loss of their fearless leader. James Joyce, only nine years old at the time of Parnell’s death, would carry the memory of Parnell throughout the rest of his life and evoked Parnell’s memory in many of his works. In his 1912 essay “A Shade of Parnell,” Joyce describes Parnell as a “ghost-like” shade that hovers over Ireland. My thesis aims to explore the different “shades” and “shadows” that Parnell’s memory cast upon both Dublin society and Joyce’s works, specifically his novel A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and his short story “Ivy Day in the Committee Room,” as well as other stories in Dubliners such as “Araby,” “Eveline,” “The Boarding House,” “A Little Cloud,” “A Painful Case,” and “The Dead.” Throughout my thesis, I utilize historical evidence such as Parnell’s biography, Katherine O’Shea’s memoirs, and Joyce’s letters, biography, and critical writings, to further demonstrate how Parnell’s shadow looms over Joyce’s writing. My research shows that the “shadow” of Parnell cast upon Joyce’s work champions the author’s goal to give Dubliners “a good look in [his] nicely polished lookingglass” (SL 90).

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0441 Literary History
Divisions: UNSPECIFIED
Depositing User: Michelle Williams
Date Deposited: 18 Sep 2018 14:52
Last Modified: 18 Sep 2018 14:52
URI: http://wagner.radford.edu/id/eprint/421

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