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한국제임스조이스학회

한국제임스조이스학회 The James Joyce Society of Korea

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국문제목 Obsessed by Cleaning: A Subconsciousness on the Sanitary Reform Movement in Joyce's "Clay"
영문제목 Obsessed by Cleaning: A Subconsciousness on the Sanitary Reform Movement in Joyce's "Clay"
저자 Younghee Kho
출처 39-59
28권
2호
발행년 2022년 12월
논문자료 [첨부파일 다운받기] 02_고영희.pdf

This paper argues that the narrative voice of Joyce’s “Clay” divulges Maria’s fear of being associated with the socially unacceptable, such as the fallen women in Dublin by Lamplight. The voice also reveals her desire to distance herself from such women by emphasizing order and cleanliness. While such values as order and cleanliness are overemphasized, the narrative suppresses the mentioning of particular object or words, the ones which might help associate Maria with dirt both in physical and metaphorical senses. Take, for instance, the title word “clay,” only mentioned as a “soft wet substance” in the body of the text. The roundabout expression of the object is a narrative attempt to avoid Maria’s identification with dirt at any event. This paper finds such narrative appropriation, whether it be overemphasis or silence, to be rooted in Victorian sanitationism, an ideology often used to divide and discriminate the marginalized members of society on the pretext of being dirty. Such pretext in Victorian society was prepared and propagated by Edwin Chadwick, whose Sanitary Report critically influenced not only Britain but also Ireland, its colony. The Magdalene laundries in Ireland, set up and managed within such a social context, aimed to perform moral and spiritual cleansing of the fallen women through the physical cleansing of others’ laundry. While a source for some of the most exhausting labor, these women were not treated with respect; on the contrary, they were treated with disgust and disdain. It is hardly surprising that Maria desires to escape her laundry and to confirm her membership in the Donnelly home on the occasion of Hallow’s Eve; her phobia is to be classified in the same category as the fallen women; she wishes to belong to respectable society. However, all her physical and narrative efforts are quashed when she is re-associated with dirt in a children’s game. Irreversibly exposed through shock is one of the profound impacts of sanitationism on one’s subconsciousness in Dublin at the turn of the twentieth century. 

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