A Mother is a Dubliner collection

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A Mother is a short story collection by Dubliner (1914) that focuses on four aspects: vocabulary, plot, character traits, and characterization style (Joyce 2). The short story was written by James Joyce, who has an outspoken reputation for being a very prominent literary figure during the first half of the twentieth century. His literary prowess allowed the reinvention of the modern novel genre and the redefinition of language boundaries. James accomplished the following through symbolic prose and experimental skills.
The short story depicts various topics, but paralysis seems to be the one that has pre-definitively appeared in every short story in the “Dubliners” series. It thus appears to be the trademark of the “Dubliners.” The theme receives portrayal in the key players within the short story; Kathleen Kearney who seems to have been forced to take a music career path yet she clearly has no future in music (Joyce 6). The theme also appears in Mrs. Kearney who has developed a continuous dependence and reliance on her daughter in the view of providing her with an excellent musical career and proficiency in education (Joyce, 6).

Background: Dubliners

Publication Process

The commencement of the compilation for the volume was in 1904 (Joyce 5). Most of the volume had been completed by the year 1905, but due to some difficulties, James saw it fit not to publish the volume until 1914. The year before the article went for publishing; it was sent to a London Publisher; Grant Richards to read through it and make recommendations in case there would be any (Joyce 6).

Notable Points

The literary work by James is apparently based on real incidence occurrence. The incidences are captured within the compilation in the manner that the reader feels the urge to keep reading the story which lures them into reading them to completion. The stories also have a sense of correct setting as seen in Two Gallants; “There were two flying inscriptions on the glass of the window: Ginger Beer and Ginger Ale. He paused at last before the window of a poor-looking shop over which the words Refreshment Bar were printed in white letters” (Joyce 7).

Author’s intentions and Opinions

The author had the intent of creating an effect in the reader that inspires them to improve an aspect or more in the way of the lifestyles. The intent is an active drive and encouragement in general. Also, the author intended to create a polished glass through which one would envision their lives. That is in a manner suggesting that the author is directly addressing them. The author also includes a chapter of moral history which makes an insight into the wrong history that most countries have behind them (Joyce, 5). Above all that, the author takes the time to bring a fundamental concept of spiritual liberation into the picture. The latter should be the first step into changing the lifestyle that a person leads and take up better personalities that inspire others.


The Surrogate Body and the Pregnant Self by Elly Teman

The story addresses motherhood in the perception of being the key ethnography in probing the surrogate gestational motherhood experience. Elly Teman in his insightful and beautifully crafted story, carefully brings to the surface the manner in which intended and surrogate mothers go out of their ways to negotiate for cooperative endeavors (Teman 3). The author draws his experience from Jewish Israeli women in which he becomes strewn in the global context in conjunction with cross-cultural perspectives of surrogacy.

Teman tries to trace the path through which surrogates work to relinquish maternal claims related to the baby, even though intended mothers undergo complicated difficulties in achieving a smooth transition to motherhood. An analysis made by Teman proved to be groundbreaking when it revealed that surrogate mothers emotionally and psychologically disengage from the fetus within them (Teman 6). The disengagement, in turn, helps the embryo develop a bond that is both lasting and profound with the woman expected to mother them. Through the many realizations that Teman made, he gives the outward thought that it is necessary to re-envision the surrogacy process through different perspectives inclusive of the experiences that women who participate in motherhood undergo.

As the intention regarded a provision of a different view into the surrogacy states in Israel, in comparison to the United Kingdom and the United States, Teman came up with an anthropological and feminist literature regarding pregnancy, reproductive technologies, and surrogacy. She thus stands to change the notion that surrogacy may be exploitative in nature to women in general (Teman 6). Owing to the position that Teman takes, it is visible that challenges exist, and reinforcements drawn from surrogacy, and they hypostatize a nucleated family. The reification is contrary to the ties that bind the family together forming a genetic relationship. The link created is in turn supposed to be helpful in the process of raising the child by establishing an excellent bond between the parents and the child. Surrogate mothers often get viewed as being emotionally unstable, greedy, and overly altruistic.

Intended Mothers and Maternal Intentions: Elly Teman

In this chapter, Elly creates a general pictograph of fieldwork that requires eight years to complete. She focuses her research on the Jewish surrogate relationships that are gestational in nature to those of their fellow intended mothers. In the due process of making the choices about the field, incidentally, the sites did not become actualized. The latter is because Israeli is among those countries that have opted to legalize surrogacy (Teman 4). In addition to that, Israeli and Judaist nationalists have further amplified the discussions regarding surrogacy. As a belief propagated by the Jewish people, childbearing and motherhood receive recognition as the means to ensuring the survival of the Jewish nationalists.

The theory is ideal owing to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Teman gives a direct provision of a religious and a nationalistic background. The background helps to give a better illustration of the critical cultural scope within which the negotiations for surrogacy arrangements are carried out. As far as the Jewish cultures and customs are concerned, the most important thing in childbearing and parenting is only that a Jewish mother bears the child. The father isn’t given much thought at any other point in time but just considered the progenitor of the sperm (Teman 7).

Generally, according to the Jewish, the character that the child grows up portraying is that which he/she earns from the mother. The mother has a far-reaching task of ensuring that the child gets a moral upbringing so that the society unto which they live do not stand forthwith to criticize her for the techniques she applies (Teman 9). The upbringing is contrary to that witnessed in both the United States and the United Kingdom; the duty of bringing up the child lies with both parents regardless of whether they are married or divorced. Typically, parenting in Israeli is far much more challenging compared to the same in the United Kingdom and the United States.

James Joyce Biography

James Augustine Joyce was born in the Rathgar suburb that was South of Dublin; February 2, 1982, which was utterly wealthy (Helmling 3). As a result of the steady wealth diminishment of James’ father, the whole family was forced to migrate to residences that seemed more modest, and that wouldn’t eat into the income. Due to the high academic performance that Joyce had shown in Clongowes School which he had since been transferred to, it was evident to both the parents and the teachers at his institution that James was to go the priestly way (Helmling 6). Joining priesthood was a decision that would have significantly made his parents happy, yet it wasn’t the exact case within the thoughts he envisioned within his mind; he thought otherwise.

Contrary to his parents’ anticipations, he pursued medical education in Paris in 1902 against his mother’s wishes. It was during his drift in the faculty of medicine that he decided to take up professional writing being a resident of Zurich. He made a successful completion of eight stories but rather opted not to publish the collection until 1913 (Helmling 9). During her writing for eight stories, he solely relied on the encouragement and emotional support from his younger brother; Stanislaus Joyce and that of his unmarried Irish lover; Nora Barnacle.


James Joyce envisions women as being powerful as they undergo so much in their mothering process yet they still manage to come through stronger than ever. The assertion is quite contrary to the common belief that is universal about the state of women related to their fellow male counterparts. The author has an unusual capability to over-estimating, understanding and treating women in the manner they deserve through his literary prowess. Contrary to the readers’ expectations, Joyce also brands women as being very evil which is a modest way of denigrating the female sexuality as being evil. Joyce gives a good thought that for women to be good mothers as anticipated of them, their male counterparts have to accord them the moral and emotional support that they so desire.

In her literary appreciations, Elly Teman broadly explains the difficulties that the female sexuality undergoes in the motherhood process. She rather bases her thought on the expectancy and surrogacy. She had the sole intention to prove that the male sexuality may be viewed as being stronger yet the female sexuality is far much more powerful that it is imaginable. To prove the point home vividly, she compares the parenting state in the United States and that of United Kingdom. Her general thought is that the legalization of surrogacy isn’t that bad as it is bearing fruits in the Israeli. The things that make it not to be fruitful are the negative thoughts and the perceptions that the citizens may have about it.

Works Cited

Helmling, Steven. “Joyce: Autobiography, History, Narrative.” The Kenyon Review, vol. 10, no. 2, 1988, pp. 91–109., www.jstor.org/stable/4335939.

Joyce, Stanislaus, and Felix Giovanelli. “James Joyce: A Memoir.” The Hudson Review, vol. 2, no. 4, 1950, pp. 485–514., www.jstor.org/stable/3847704.

Teman, Elly. “Conclusion.” Birthing a Mother: The Surrogate Body and the Pregnant Self, 1st ed., University of California Press, 2010, pp. 283–296, www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/j.ctt1pngs3.18

Teman, Elly. “Intended Mothers and Maternal Intentions.” Birthing a Mother: The Surrogate Body and the Pregnant Self, 1st ed., University of California Press, 2010, pp. 110–133, www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/j.ctt1pngs3.12.

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