Dubliners: Conformity is Key 12th Grade

When reading James Joyce’s, Dubliners, conformity and the role it plays in society are important themes. Throughout the text, the characters struggle to adhere to the “social norms” of their time. In numerous stories, the characters are tasked with a difficult decision; do they leave their comfort zone, or abide by the conventions of their surroundings? The concept of conformity relates to my life as well as the life of every other high school student, as we are all tasked with the challenge of waking up and deciding who we want to be for the rest of our lives. Similar to the characters in Joyce’s Dubliners, we struggle with this uncertainty because it often feels impossible to be true to one’s identity in a world where everyone is trying to fit in. In stories such as “Eveline”, “The Boarding House”, and “A Little Cloud”, the characters are driven to make the choice between altering the course of their lives or continuing to mold to the constructs of society.

“Eveline”, my favorite story in Dubliners, is one that many people can relate to on a personal level. She has lived a punishing life after her mother and brother passed away, leaving her to wait on her alcoholic father and her other brother who is constantly away from the...

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