The inarticulate community: a comparative study of James Joyce's Dubliners and Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio with pertinent reference to the later fiction of these authors

Oliver, Michael Brian (1970) The inarticulate community: a comparative study of James Joyce's Dubliners and Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio with pertinent reference to the later fiction of these authors. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

This thesis is concerned with three areas of comparison between the short fiction techniques of James Joyce and Sherwood Anderson. The first of these is the brief establishment of a poetics for both authors from their critical and autobiographical writings. Such a process reveals that they each showed a judicious respect for "reality" - or "the fact in nature" as Anderson called it - but significantly they each purified the facts deep down in the forges of their imaginations, and favoured a poetic, suggestive - imaginative - style of writing, in the tradition of the Romantic poets. The second phase of comparison, and by far the most extensive, covering Chapters II-V, examines the re-created communities of Dublin and Winesburg, Ohio, and especially the individuals in these communities. This scrutiny discloses that the people in both these communities are lonely and frustrated because they are inarticulate, powerless to communicate the forces of their underminds to each other. This inability to speak is also coupled with a lack of community vitality to further isolate the individual. Ultimately, the meaning of life for such people can only come from the inner visions of their imaginations, to find which they must descend into their memories and passions. Lastly, this search -- and occasional revelation -- determined the kind of short stories that Joyce and Anderson wrote: namely, the plotless, suggestive story of "epiphany," which was a revolutionary form breaking with the action-climax tradition in short story writing. Joyce's and Anderson's contribution to this early twentieth century renovation in short fiction is briefly looked at in the last chapter. Because writing for Joyce and Anderson meant imaginative re-creation, and because the people they sympathetically re-created lived sordid, unrewarding lives, illuminated only occasionally by visions of the meaning of such existence, it is only natural and proper that their short stories should re-incarnate the searchings of these people in the depths of their minds and the occasional disclosures.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/12288
Item ID: 12288
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 191-195).
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > English Language and Literature
Date: June 1970
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Anderson, Sherwood, 1876-1941. Winesburg, Ohio; Joyce, James, 1882-1941. Dubliners

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