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Sexual Repression May Destruct Genuine Human Interaction

Sexual Repression May Destruct Genuine Human Interaction

In his writing ‘A Painful Case,’ Joyce highlights the depictions of sexuality and thoughtful disapproval of the prevalent Victorian prudishness. The narrative features a forthright conversation of sexuality and a reproach of sexual repression. ‘A Painful Case’ demonstrates that firm devotion to sexual moral conduct causes sexual repression, followed by disastrous impacts. In this story, both Mr. Duffy and Mrs. Sinico seem to abstain from marriage and sexual encounters, shaping a platonic friendship (Owens). However, their friendship is ruined when Mr. Duffy panics over a supposed sexual advance from Mrs. Sinico. The plot illustrates that adherence to strict sexual morals and fear of sexual expression can be damaging to building an authentic interaction. Mr. Duffy’s repression behavior based on socially accepted moral tenets leads to stopping a meaningful and genuine relationship with Mrs. Sinico.

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Ireland was a conventional nation during the Victorian age, particularly in relationships and marriage institutions. For instance, Catholic fellowship disallowed the divorce of spouses, making it impossible for Mrs. Sinico to acquire a divorce from Captain Sinico. James Joyce demonstrates how religious institutions at the time played a role in sexual suppression with the aim of promoting sexual morality (Davison 125). Regardless of Joyce’s upbringing as a Catholic, he seems to rebel against Victorian conventionality and the Ireland Catholicatism conservativism. Marriage in the 19th century was radical to society because children born out of wedlock were regarded as “bastards.” Although Mrs. Sinico felt lonely and in need of a companion, she could not express her sexual or emotional desires since society deemed sexual restrictions between friends.

Sexual enjoyment during the Victorian age was a completely male privilege. Gender principles of the sexual morality of a reputable woman preserved a sexual double standard as mandated in the Matrimonial Causes Act of 1857. The culture was fascinated by the nature of the ‘fallen woman,’ meaning women who engaged in sexual experiences outside their marriages (Davison 128). As such, the society presented a feminine moral influence based on her ‘natural and instinctive conduct’; however, she was propelled to demonstrate the supposed innate traits. In essence, Mrs. Sinico, in her physical and behavioral portrayal, provided all her love, care, gentleness, and her affectionate solitude to her husband, showing how society expects women to behave, especially regarding sexual behaviors.

Moreover, the issue of conventionalism applies to Duffy’s lifestyle and the treatment he shows Mrs. Sinico. Duffy seems intellectually interested in Mrs. Sinico and enjoys spending time with her. He cuts off their association totally in a snapshot of sexual frenzy, assuming that Mrs. Sinico wishes to challenge accepted practices and have an immoral sexual relationship with him. As Duffy holds forward one evening, addressing Mrs. Sinico on “the spirit’s hopeless depression,” she builds up actual contact with him: Mrs. Sinico took his hand energetically and squeezed it to her cheek” (Owens). This motion leaves Duffy astounded. He, at that point, severs contact with her, not contacting her for seven days. He is left frustrated by Mrs. Sinico’s “understanding” of his discourse, believing that she is communicating sexual desire in him.

The word decision “frustrated” is critical, demonstrating that Duffy had put Mrs. Sinico on an ethical platform and envisioning that she would succumb to infidelity makes her tumble from it (Joyce 1-5). Also, he has considered her a scholarly friend, not a sexual accomplice. Duffy’s reaction depends on his conviction that Mrs. Sinico’s offer of putting his hand on her cheek was a sexual suggestion (Owens). Contrastingly, she may have only communicated care and worry for him in her motherly way, telling him he was not generally alone. Then again, in the event that she was communicating sexual interest in him, it is conceivable that he might have dismissed her development without freezing, making a decision about her brutally and totally cutting off the association.

More so, social conventions restricted and regarded topics of sex, sexuality, and physical needs as taboos. Duffy’s sexual reserve, restraint, and emphasis on customarily right good guidelines prompt the termination of what has been an important, true association, with Mrs. Sinico demising a couple of years later. At last, the story proposes that a sexual issue between the two, prohibited by good and social shows, would have been desirable over the life of segregation, misfortune, and demise resulting from Duffy’s sexual restraint, prudishness, and adjustment to social doubts. These unfolding events show sexual puritanism that forced the silencing of sexual matters (Owens). Joyce attempts to demonstrate that the new or refined sexual morality leads to the creation of a sense of sobriety, rigid self-control, and thrifty notions of the majority, which are influential. ‘A Painful Case’ highlights the domination of Victorian ideologies, sexual behaviors, and sexual conventions of 19th-century society.

Joyce’s work, ‘A Painful Case,’ complicates the simple ideologies of Victorian prudism as the notion of sexual repression remains. He seeks to liberate his era from the apparent reserve and unawareness, particularly in sexual issues. Through the depiction of Mrs. Sinico and Mr. Duffy, the article demonstrates the influence and consequences of silencing sexual desires and intimacy. Nevertheless, due to influential roots in the protruding anti-Victorianist standpoint of modernist authors like James Joyce, the era was a key period in the invention of sexuality. It introduced contemporary terminologies people use today to formulate how they presume and converse about sexuality. Sexual preferences were pioneered, generating terms such as homosexuals, heterosexuals, and nymphomaniacs. Substantially, the modernist literature, poems, and discussions instigate the new opposition of homo and heterosexuality groups, which not only describe sexual behavior but are regarded as central to a person’s identity.

Works Cited

Davison, Carol Margaret. “The Victorian Gothic and Gender.” The Victorian Gothic: An Edinburgh Companion (2012): 124-141.

Joyce, James. A Painful Case. [S.N.], 1914, pp. 1-5.

Owens, Cóilín. James Joyce’s painful case. University Press of Florida, 2008.


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Essay 3

Sexual Repression May Destruct Genuine Human Interaction

Below are the instructions for Essay 3. Below that there are instructions for the Proposal for Essay 3. I will provide feedback to the proposals, which could be quite helpful. But what matters in the end is how good is Essay 3: The Proposal is part of and is to help with the Essay 3 Writing Project.

Sexual Repression May Destruct Genuine Human Interaction

Sexual Repression May Destruct Genuine Human Interaction

Instructions for Essay 3

  • Essay 3 will be between 700 and 1000 words long. (This is only a little longer than Essay 2.) You must use this space effectively: Don’t be over ambitious, but instead stay on a tightly focused topic.
  • Essay 3 is like Essays 1 and 2 in that
  1. A) it should be interesting;
  2. B) it centers on your own ideas, opinions, or claims, which should be plausible and reasonable;
  3. C) It should not state the obvious;
  4. D) it should develop a focused topic on gender: it is better to dig deep into a topic than to treat several subtopics in a superficial manner;
  5. E) it should be a coherent train of thought;
  6. F) it can be either a persuasive essay that argues for a major claim (or thesis), or it can be an exploration of a focused topic (either way, it should have some “point”);
  7. G) it is a creative project: You are in charge to make it the best essay possible;
  8. H) it should not drift off into vague generalities or idealizations;
  9. I) nor should it merely summarize other people’s ideas: this is not a research paper (if you quote or use other people’s ideas this should be clearly noted);
  10. J) your audience is an informed one (represented by me), not a popular audience (such as one finds on low-quality and/or idealistic websites).
  • Like Essay 2. Essay 3 must significantly engage one required text. But unlike Essay 2, Essay 3 will engage a required text from Unit II (the second half of the course, beginning with Shakespeare). You need to substantially discuss and comment on the required text that you picked, for at least about a quarter of the essay or so (or anything more, up to the whole essay). Discuss one or more specific ideas or a specific passage from the required text. It’s a good idea to use short quotations from the required text. These quotes should be commented on and integrated into your discussion (do not use long quotes).
  • It’s good to engage a specific part of the required text early on in Essay 3, probably soon after a short introductory paragraph (which may only provide the topic, text and upshot). Engaging a specific part of the required text should anchor your essay and discourage the common tendency of drifting off into vague generalities. The engagement with a required text should help to provide a tight focus for your essay.
  • After you engage the required text (or part of it) by discussing how the text raises an interesting specific issue, then you may discuss the same issue apart from the text and in general.
  • Each prompt under each of the four topics on the “Group Work Review Sheet Unit 2” (in BB’s Course Material) is a possible direction for the essay: a suggestion about how to relate a required text to a topic: The prompt can help you develop your ideas using a required text. But these prompts can only help you begin to develop your ideas on a topic by using a required text. As you develop your ideas, you should probably modify the topic to a tighter focus.
  • Use my feedback that you will get if you submit a Proposal for Essay 3 (see below), and also keep in mind my feedback to your first two essays.
  • Carefully edit the essay. Is there anything that should be developed? Is there anything that should be cut? Did you effectively and concisely discuss the required text and the issue it raises. Is your essay concise or is it too wordy? Is the essay organized in an effective manner? Are all the main points very clear?
  • Carefully proofread the essay. I suggest that you have someone slowly read it out loud to you, so that their spoken voice will indicate if the essay is clear and well written. Their voice should tell you if they understand the essay and its main point(s).
  • The essay must be clear and well written (small problems don’t matter). If needed, get help from a Lehman Tutor: For the virtual waiting room:
  • Try your best to finish by the deadline, but it’s always better to take another day or two if it will significantly improve the essay. If you need more than two days extra, email me to request an extension. I will have to get final grades in soon after December 17 (and I will have much work to do), so, there will be much less extra time than there were for Essays 1 and 2.
  • Any time you use someone else’s words, they must be in quotation marks and the source must be provided; otherwise, it is plagiarism, and the essay will receive an F. Even a short passage of 5 or 6 words can be plagiarism. If you change a few words in a passage, it is still plagiarism. See the syllabus (in BB’s Course Materials) for more information on plagiarism.
  • It would be good if you bring in a little research of good quality, at least as good as Wikipedia, which is often a helpful short resource on many topics. Do not use blogs, Shmoop or any poor-quality webpage. (The research is not a major factor in the essay’s grade.)
  • At the end of the essay, have a Works Cited list that includes (in alphabetical order of the author’s last name) the required text engaged, the one piece of outside research, and any other source that you used and cited (mentioned) in the body of your essay. If the required text you engage was provided by me on BB (as all required texts were except Twelfth Night), the entry in the Works Cited list should begin with the author’s last and first name, the title of the piece, and then something like: Lehman College’s Blackboard: LEH 352: Scenes from the History of Gender, Fall 2020. If the citation is for research is from the internet, include the URL and the date accessed. (For other types of sources, consult your writer’s handbook.) Each entry should begin with the author’s last name (if possible; if not, the first word in its title), which should have been clearly referred to in the essay when the work was used. (The Works Cited list is not a major factor in the essay’s grade.)


  • I have uploaded the essay 3 instructions.
  • For the paper please engage the text to my topic.
  • The essay has to be 700-1000 words long no more than this.
  • Topic for my paper:
    • Sexual Repression May Destruct Genuine Human Interaction
  • Article you will engage with topic:
    • Joyce, A painful Case.

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