What is main conflict in Clay by James Joyce and why its named Clay?main conflict, climax

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mkcapen1 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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The short story "Clay" by James Joyce comes across as a simple story told about the boring events in the life of a well liked and important servant.  However, upon further understanding, Maria, lives in disillusion about how her life.  She makes herself out to be something special.  Her place as a dishwasher at a home for reformed prostitutes is a lowly position.  She is an old Irish woman with nothing going for herself.  She is a spinster.

Maria's vision of herself is through rose colored glasses.  She has self-confidence and creates a world of the perfect family and an evening spent with her perfect family. The conflict in the story is Maria's true self versus Maria's real self.

The title “Clay” reflects Maria’s shaping of her own world and who she believes herself to be.

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