Dante’s “The Hermaphroditic Joyce” One of the most powerful nuances of any writing is the dialogue within the story. In literature, it is all too often that characters live only in the jaded voice of the author and never truly develop as their own, or are not strongly opinionated in a manner which contrasts the opinions of the writer. It is also unfortunately true that the women depicted in most male-authored literature do not often sound realistic, or how most women one would speak to in the course of the day tend to sound. All too often, women are depicted on a lower level of speech than men. For instance, Dickens and Arthur Miller both apparently subscribed to this notion, as the women in their stories were usually more passive, and not as elaborate as men in their speech, however, James Joyce did not see things in the same light. The most developed female character in Joyces A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, is one who speaks with dignity, passion, and the female tact which is all too often ignored in the ch aracters of women. Joyce’s Dante Riordan’s words and thoughts are true to those of literate twentieth century women. Although a short-lived character in Portrait, Dante Riordan, in a brief amount of time emits an apparently important and mysterious aura, the aura of a woman. Judging from the studies of twentieth century linguists, Joyce’s brief representation of Dante through speech is nearly flawless. To more lucidly understand this, one must carefully examine some of the instances at which Dante speaks in her conversation with Mr. and Mrs. Dedalus, Charles, and Mr. Casey, and re-examine the arguments she makes. Dante is introduced into the dinner table conversation as a silent character. However, when the men’s conversation turns to the misuse of the preacher’s pulpit, Dante begins her interjections. All too often, women in literature remain linguistically dormant unless …
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