Norris, Margot / The decentered universe of Finnegans wake : a structuralist analysis
Introduction: the critical method, pp. 1-9
INTRODUCTION: THE CRITICAL METHOD 9 fictional than any of the others. I suspect that we are to assume a single dreamer, since the same obsessions inform all the themes narrated by the different voices. The different speaking voices may therefore represent different personae of the dreamer relating different versions of the same event. For example, since a single dreamer can be a father, a son, and a brother all at once, he can play out an Oedipal drama in his dream, in which he takes the parts of Laius, Oedipus, and Creon all at once. In this way he can express many conflicting feelings simultaneously. I speculate that it makes no difference whether one supposes a single long dream, with constant repetition of the same theme, or a group of serial dreams, each dealing with the same theme. It seems plausible to suppose that the dreamer is male, since the major conflicts appear to afflict male figures. But sex, like everything else, is mutable in dreams. The question "Who is the dreamer?" is a question properly addressed not to the reader but to the dreamer himself, who discovers in the dream that he is by no means who he thinks he is.
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