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a painful case

             James Joyce's short story, "A Painful Case" depicts the life of a Dubliner, James Duffy, at a specific period in his life. However, hidden in the lines of the text, there lies a tragic love story, and the "Carpe Diem" lesson that once again is learned a few moments too late. In the text, the death of Mrs. Sinico, a married women that was briefly involved with Mr. Duffy at one point in time, is titled "A Painful Case". However, the title of the story does not refer to her death, but rather to the killing of love, desire & passion; the elements that award us happiness and fulfillment in life. "A painful Case" is yet another suppression of the finer elements that enrich our life.
             Mr. Duffy and Mrs. Sinico had been brought together by a number of coincidental meetings, which indicated their similar tastes and interests. They began meeting on a regular basis, for quiet walks, and intellectual conversations where they exchanged opinions and ideas. The two had a very strong mental bond, yet the extent to which their relationship developed emotionally is not at all clear. What is known, is that at the first sign of a physical act by Mrs, Sinico, possibly an outer presentation of strong inner-feelings, the relations were brought to an abrupt stop by Mr. Duffy. Unfortunately, Mr. Duffy's reasoning for the termination of this relationship was not a result of a lack of emotion and mutual feelings of care on his part. Rather, it seems Mr. Duffy is not capable of accepting love in such an intense physical manner, and surely not of returning it. Mr. Duffy's perception of life is very morbid and pessimistic. He believes that one cannot connect with another and fully give himself to another all the while staying true to himself and his own individuality; "We cannot give ourselves we are our own." Mr. Duffy believed that by loving and giving, you are losing and not gaining. He explicitly states this once in his thoughts and once in his writings as a permanent inscription of his fate; he said: "Every bond is a bond to sorrow.

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