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Foundational Essays in James Joyce Studies$
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Michael Patrick Gillespie

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780813035291

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813035291.001.0001

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Moral Responsibility in Joyce's “Clay”

Moral Responsibility in Joyce's “Clay”

Chapter:
(p.53) 2 Moral Responsibility in Joyce's “Clay”
Source:
Foundational Essays in James Joyce Studies
Author(s):

Thomas F. Staley

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813035291.003.0003

This chapter focuses on the issue of moral responsibility highlighted in James Joyce's “Clay.” Most of the critical exegesis of Joyce's “Clay” reveals a great deal of dexterity on the part of the nearly dozen critics who have written on this popular story. The structure of the story is based upon Maria's recognition of the hypocrisy of her existence through a series of encounters with her fellow Dubliners. The theme of the disintegration of human understanding and love is enforced by each and every social relationship that the story unfolds. In “Clay” Joyce gives a glimpse of the great moral theme of Ulysses: man's lack of a sense of responsibility to himself and to his fellow man.

Keywords:   Clay, short stories, social relationship, hypocrisy, disintegration

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