Sunday, March 16, 2008

"A Painful Case" by James Joyce

I think that Joel’s blog was pretty much spot on with his description of Jackson’s shortcomings. After I finished Jackson’s analysis, I believed it to be lacking and incomplete. It seemed as though her argument could have been pushed farther or could have used more evidence. I am not satisfied with her statements about the “Open Closet” because I was not thoroughly convinced that Duffy’s character was in the closet. Jackson states “Duffy must remain at some distance from his voice since he cannot risk the consequences of its full, uncloseted presence without being vulnerable to detection” (340). The issue I have with this statement is that I am not sure how true it is. After reading the story I was under the impression that Duffy did not disclose his sexual presence because no one ever bothered to ask. He never participated in hetero or homosexual sex which would leave his sexual preference, to people looking at him from the outside, ambiguous. Without ever participating in a sexual act, people assume that he is hetero, which is what Mrs. Sinico does. Mrs. Sinico obviously was incorrect but her assumption was not unfounded. Generally speaking, without some kind of indicator, people assume that other people are hetero. That is what Mrs. Sinico did; she assumed that he was hetero because Duffy never offered an indicator to his sexual preference. But once Mrs. Sinico attempted to move the relationship towards a physical relationship, Duffy instantly backed away and it was made very clear, to the reader, that Duffy was homosexual. I do not think that Duffy openly hid his sexual presence but rather, he did not flaunt it and went about his everyday life.

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