Expressionism and stream of consciousness in James Joyce's works

Essay by lynchsean22High School, 12th gradeB, April 2014

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One of the stories written in Dubliners by James Joyce, "A Painful Case" brings expressionism to the reader by the protagonist, Mr. Duffy. Joyce uses the protagonist's thoughts and feelings to distort the objects and events that are happening in the story. These thoughts are primarily used to darken the story. There are multiple examples in the text that provide examples of how Joyce used stream of consciousness to demonstrate expressionism.

Mr. Duffy sees Dublin as a weary place. He would rather be alone than at the ale house with friends, friends he doesn't have to begin with. His unhappiness with Dublin makes the reader think that Dublin is an awful place, but in reality, it's not. He makes the city seem dull and lifeless but really, he called Dublin a "society of gilded youth". Dublin isn't really a dull, lifeless city, Mr. Duffy would just rather have it be that way.

The very first sentence of "A Painful Case" uses stream of consciousness. As the protagonist is looking out his window, his thoughts became words in the text: "he wished to live as far as possible from the city of which he was a citizen and because he found all the other suburbs of Dublin mean, modern, and pretentious. Expressionism is used in this case to depict his distaste of Dublin, an opinion other Dubliners might not have.

When Mr. Duffy reads about Mrs. Sinico's death, he is not upset by it. Rather he is outraged by it. While people are mourning, he cannot help but lash out at her. "...the vulgar death attacked his stomach. Not merely had she degraded herself; she had degraded him." Mr. Duffy let his emotions run high which makes the reader almost sympathize for Duffy. Duffy used his...