Corps finis by Pascal Boyer

By Pascal Boyer

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9. Joyce never tells us precisely how much money the boy receives . As the boy strides down Buckingham Street he holds “a florin [a two-shilling coin] tightly in [his] hand” (D 25); yet when he arrives at the bazaar , he hands the gatekeeper a “shilling” (D 26), which suggests that the uncle’s gift consists of a florin and a shilling, for a total of three shillings. But at the end the boy describes allowing“the two pennies” to fall against “the sixpence” in his pocket—“the” meaning “the only remaining” sixpence ( D 27)—which wouldn’ t make sense if he had originally had three shillings.

This cycle of reciprocity is figured in conventional representations of the Graces , where they are often shown dancing , hands linked, in a circle. See Davis, 12, for one such representation. 18. Pecora here seems to cling to a rigidly Marxist notion of characters as mere vectors of social and economic forces. This ideological lumber weighs down any critic attempting to keep pace with Joyce’s verbal and moral dexterity. Works Cited Aristotle. Nicomachean Ethics. Translated by W. D. Ross. In The Basic Works of Aristotle, edited by Richard McKeon.

In indicting their failures of generosity, Joyce mimics them, thereby proving himself even more a Dubliner . At the end of “The Dead,” however, it is clear that, on the stylistic level at least,something unprecedented is occurring that may signal a shift in Joyce’s attitude. The key change from scrupulous meanness to swooning melody may herald a dawning self-awareness on the part of the author , as J oyce himself shifts from the negative reciprocity of vengeance to a recognition of shared community.

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