There are a number of political representations in Dubliners by James Joyce, primarily driven through the idea of Irish nationalism. During the early twentieth century, the Irish found themselves searching for their national identity as the nation as a whole dealt with competing ideas. Many in Ireland celebrated their distinct language, culture, music, and literature and espoused the view that Ireland should secede to become a sovereign country, while others preferred to give up their sovereignty to the United Kingdom.
This theme is explored in “The Dead” when Miss Molly Ivors admonishes Gabriel Conroy as a “West Briton.” Conroy is described as someone who does not support Irish nationalism, as evident in his dress, his pro-British writing, and his lack of use of the Irish language.
Interestingly, Dubliners is not really a rally cry in favor of Irish nationalism; instead, Joyce critiques the culture as a powerless entity suffering through paralysis which has led to its decline.
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