Coming to Age 11th Grade

In James Joyce’s collection of short stories Dubliners the stories are put in chronological order so it seems that the characters are slowly becoming older and older both physically and mentally. The collection of stories first start off with a young child and progresses on to teenage years to adulthood and finally, to the elder years. Throughout the stories the characters also get progressively more mature mentally as the first character is a child struggling to understand death and the last character is an old man thinking back on the regrets he had throughout his life. In these stories there is also a recurring theme of just nothingness. In many of these stories nothing exciting ever happens to them or they plan to do something but it never ends up happening. This theme of nothingness represents the a sort of nihilism. Although all of the characters within Dubliners are vastly different James Joyce organizes them in a chronological order to demonstrate the coming of age and the meaninglessness throughout a person’s lifespan.

The first story in Dubliners is The Sisters which features a very young and immature boy. This boy struggles to understand the death of a priest which represents the beginning of the lifespan. The boy...

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