Paralysis and Resistance in James Joyce’s Dubliners and Mohammed Dib’s La Grande Maison
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The following dissertation explores the theme of paralysis and resistance in James Joyce’s Dubliners and Mohammed Dib’s La Grande Maison. However, hinging upon the new historicist theory, this comparative study will reveal that although the two writers chronicle two different periods of their peoples’ history, their preoccupations in their early works were not different. On the one hand, the Irish writer James Joyce wrote Dubliners in a period characterized by the dominance of Irish Catholicism and the British imperial system which in his view created Ireland’s paralysis, on the other hand, the Algerian writer Mohammed Dib also chronicles in his first novel, La Grande Maison, the oppression and the social, economic and political upheavals to which his countrymen were subjugated during French colonialism. It is also attempted to prove that in spite of the paralysis image which dominates and reoccurs in both texts, Joyce like Dib has given alternative ways how to resist and surmount paralysis. At the end, I hopefully endeavoured to prove that the authors’ visions and conceptions about the idea of resisting paralysis remain different. For, in the case of Joyce’s characters, though at the end of each story he did not give literal indications whether spiritual liberation will be attained or just paralysis will ultimately prevail, yet he makes it evident that in order to resist and escape from paralysis, Irish people have either to die or exile themselves physically or spiritually from Dublin’s paralysis. On the contrary for Dib’s characters, the only way for them to overthrow and surmount paralysis is through national and political consciousness by using revolutionary means. In order to achieve this, I divided the dissertation into two parts, each part contains two chapters. The first chapter deals with the historical background of Ireland and Algeria, while the second chapter is devoted to short biographies of the authors by putting a great emphasis on their educational and artistic careers. The second part also contains two chapters; the first chapter will be concerned with the analysis of the theme of paralysis and its motifs. While in the second, I will deal with attempts of these characters to resist paralysis by taking into account Joyce’s and Dib’s differing, or opposing conceptions on the idea of overcoming paralysis.