Author

Sang-Wook Kim

Publication Date

2006

Document Type

Dissertation/Thesis

First Advisor

Knapp, John V., 1940-

Degree Name

Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)

Department

Department of English

LCSH

Joyce, James, 1882-1941--Characters--Family relationships||Parent and child in literature--Criticism and interpretation

Abstract

Joycean critics have paid little attention to the parent-offspring schisms numerically mirrored in Joyce’s fiction. Freudian (or Lacanian) psychoanalysis and other poststructuralist criticism have mainly either delved into Joycean multi-voiced narrative of free indirect style as a departure from realism or read Joycean texts as Joyce’s (or his characters’) political struggles against Irish patriarchy at the turn of the century. My study shifts a focus from the stylistically or politically oriented approaches to Joyce’s fiction to a sociobiological dimension to Joycean characters— a neo- Darwinian approach to human development with adaptive implications of human behaviors. More specifically, I bring to light the parent-offspring schisms in the typical patterns of relationships in the Dublin families depicted in Dubliners, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, and Stephen Hero. What is the most salient in the matter of Dubliners’s familial interactions is overprotective and demanding motherhood in which a mother and a child are extremely interdependent on each other. The seemingly affectionate but tremendously intrusive mothers hinder their children’s autonomy and independence, making them indecisive and timid. In A Portrait and Stephen Hero, Stephen displays a biological sign of inhibited temperament with fear of novelty as his inherited nature. At the same time, he grows into a person with rigid personality as the outcome of his adaptation to the sibling position as a firstborn child. As a Bildungsroman, A Portrait is read as Stephen’s development into a person of adolescent egocentrism on the basis of his moral reasoning grounded in his personal values in conflict with sociocultural values. Stephen cognitively adapts from pre-adolescent moral absolutism to adolescent moral relativism by which he shows iconoclastic tendencies.

Comments

Includes bibliographical references (pages [149]-156).

Extent

156 pages

Language

eng

Publisher

Northern Illinois University

Rights Statement

In Copyright

Rights Statement 2

NIU theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from Huskie Commons for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without the written permission of the authors.

Media Type

Text

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