What is James Joyce's view on children and nature in his writings?

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coachingcorner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the 'Dubliners' collection of short stories, James Joyce mentions children and childhood a few times. In 'Eveline' we see the life of a girl whose childhood has suddenly been cut short by the early loss of a mother from an illness with an unpleasant,possibly delirious, end - a shocking and traumatic life event to go through particularly when that child,being a girl in a 'doll's house' like Ibsen's, is left to bring up the younger children. She gets no help from an aggressive and unappreciative father. Joyce shows us that the child needs familiarity and to identify with her family and birthplace, no matter how difficult the circumstances. Eveline has the chance to sail away with a cultured and exciting new boyfriend, but chooses her old life against the scariness of change. The carefree life of playing in dreams of the future in the Dublin meadowcrumble into a bleak view of the reality of adult life for Eveline as they do in many of Joyce's stories relating to childhood.

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