Dubliners is not a collection of happily-ever-after tales. None of the wide arrays of characters achieved their ideal fantasies or remotely reach success. Instead, the citizens are oppressed most of the time and they struggle through their lives routinely. At first, I thought Joyce's writing to be fairly simple and clean; third-person reports of people's everyday lives. Many stories deal with broad themes and universal motifs (paralysis, Dublin, repetition) which link them all together. As I read on, I noticed each preceding story corresponded to highlight the heightening complexity in the next chapter. There was this underlying dark tone to each chapter that just seemed to mock the characters about their elusive happiness. They kept getting bashed from beginning to end and no matter how they tried, they couldn't reach a greater life of meaning. Dubliners practically had every morose depressing element that I dislike to read; then why the hell do I like this book? I thought this book perverse when I read the chapter titled: An Encounter. I thought it mind-thwarting when the boy practically did nothing in 'Araby'. It was shocking and I felt outrageous after completing 'Counterparts'. Chapter 12 and 13 gave me a sense of pointlessness. And disturbingly, 'Clay' had me invested in Maria's next stage of life. Even to me, it makes no sense what I'm talking about and all I know is that James Joyce has serious talent. Maybe that's part of the reason he also has his own holiday named Bloomsday in Ireland.