Comparative Analysis of the Social Life of Citizens and Political Interpretation Dublin, Chicago and Moscow

Research Paper (undergraduate), 2017

17 Pages, Grade: 25



1. Introduction
1.2. Three stories: short introduction and technical analysis.
1.3. Religion and the society
1.4. “Voice, Exit and Loyalty”

2. Conclusion



The paper discusses the political and social life of the citizens of Dublin, Chicago and Moscow based on three exceptional classics which written by three phenomenon authors in the world literature. The selected context describes the society in early World War period and how these respective cities changed due to external factors and variety of social forms. The changes which took place in respective cities directly influenced by the life and political behaviour of the people. Thus, the researcher analyzes the political and economic behaviour of the cities based on the concepts of “Voice, Loyalty and Exit.”(Piketty, 2014)

The author describes the social context based on International Relations, the Hobbesian nature of the humans and illustrated the respective society. The entire paper is based on the original classics which were written by the respective authors and through that, the researcher attempted to provide a social review based on direct dimension. The research conducted to identify major social transformations and external, internal motives behind the social transformation. The role of the capital and the social classification identified as the major influence on the social reformation and the researcher exercised comparative analytical tools to draw a line among these three cities and common social behaviours of respective cities.

The role of religious institutions was a major social factor which influenced to the social life in these three different cities. Mainly the early war period made a dramatic changed of the capital and financial waves of the society and this dynamic role of the finance provided a background to the change of the social life. These two major reasons and five additional reasons bring to the conclusion by the author.

Key Words: Comparative analysis, Hobbesian Nature, Power, Religion, Social Classification

1. Introduction

“Everything will turn out right, the world is built on that.” (Bulgakov, 2011)

World literature performed a vital role to identify the global politics and world affairs. Mainly literature can be considered as one of the parameters to understand, analyze, and construct a political and social life of the humans and their social interactions. Through this paper, the researcher is attempting to identify the social phenomenon in early world war period based on three different novels which described three diverse cities. The first novel was “Dubliners” which written by James Joyce, the second novel was “Sister Carrie” authored by Theodore Dreiser and final book was “Master and Margarita” which written by Mikhail Bulgakov. Those novels described three cities: Dublin, Chicago and Moscow and those books given a complete picture of the life in those respective cities in term of politics, economic and social perspectives.

In this paper, the researcher mainly focuses on how these cities transformed its physical atmosphere, and how these physical and material changes constrained social life of the citizens based on political and social aspects. Mainly the researcher is attempting to do a comparative analysis based on these three novels and for that, the researcher uses the concept of “Voice, Exit, and Loyalty.” Based on these three concepts the researcher is drawing a common parameter to analyze similarities and diversity of these three cities. The first session of the article is utilized by the author to give a brief idea about three novels which selected by the researcher to finalize this paper.

1.2. Three stories: short introduction and technical analysis.

The novel “Dubliners” was written by James Joyce in 1914 just before the World War I. It mainly focuses on the social and political changes which took place in the society due to domestic and international political, social changes. It’s a collection of stories which address different dynamic factors and social faces.

Dublin city, society subjected to act of unions during the 1800s and they were able to abolish Ireland parliament. After that power struggles between British supporters and Irish independence movement shaped the city life up to 1922. (Joyce, 1914)

Mainly one year after the Dublin Lockout the tension started to escalate with the World War I. Nationalists in Dublin tied up the resistance moment and the Brish parliament found Dublin as a difficult opportunity for gain political advantages. The mixed responses over the United Kingdom have shaped the social structure of the Dubliners. In 1911 King George V entertained his visit in Dublin city with the gigantic support of the professional class of the Dublin. Majority of the professional class gained the political advantages with this visit of King George V. They gained the political prominence against the Protestant Ascendancy. The political power including the potentiality of control social dynamics shifted to emerging Catholic elites from the Protestants.

These power elites influenced to the city structure of Dublin city. the Grand Georgian houses on Mountjoy division, North Great George Street, Henrietta Street and many prosperous extents dominated by new elites. These avenues of the city provided homes to high-class professional including the Lawyers, Professionals, businessman then civil servants. This background note was a complete contrast to the rest of the citizens in Dublin. From the end of the 19th century, the wealth moved to suburbs and the dominant class refabricated the city with golf clubs, tennis clubs and modern transport mediums digest the city life.

The visible changes of the Dublin city demarcated the class division of the society. the less fashionable north side of the city provided shelter to thousands of the indigent citizens. The unskilled workers along with opportunity seekers shared these old buildings. Majority of the Dubliners stagnated into one roomed accommodations without any social recognition. The residents suffered appalling social conditions. The majority of the labours had to struggle with their life to survival.

The lack of major industrial hubs, finance and commerce droved the property of Dublin city. The presence of the foreign market in Dublin economy was able to slurp the wealth of Dubliners. The life of middle-lower class citizens became haunted due to these social factors.

The tragedy of Dublin city was portrayed by James Joyce through the Dubliners Nobel. The death of the city illustrated by Joyce and the book highlighted the powerless of the citizens. Joyce highlighted the political powerlessness of the citizens of Dublin. Many of the citizens paralyzed physically and mentally. Similarly, economic waves of the society including poverty motivated the citizens to behave in aberrant ways. All the stories in Dubliners illustrated the social life of the citizens through the lenses of realistic approach. However, the politics of language exercised by James Joyce depicts the skills of the author.

The writer used metaphorical and symbolic language to give a complete picture of Dublin city. According to the author if Dublin city disappeared from the world map, “Dubliners” will provide an idea about the Dublin city and the life of Dublin. The story based on characters of Old Collier, Father Flynn, Molly Bloom, Mohany and few other main characters. Based on these individual stories, the author tried to portrait a realistic picture of the Dublin and social changes of the city. The book described the Hobbesian nature of the humans and most of the stories focused on simony, truancy, pederasty, Child abuses, spouse abuses, gambling, and nasty brutal behaviour of humans. James Joyce used the concept of paralyzing, corruption and dead to link these individual behaviours with the city.

The story of Sister Carrie was a great piece written by Theodore Dreiser in 1900. The story based on the life of Sister Carrie. The author described the character as a courageous, honest, intelligence and unselfishness character. But the researcher has a different argument about the characteristics of Sister Carrie. The story portrays the political and social changes which took place in Chicago city. Mainly, with the American industrial revolution, Chicago city subjected to colossal changes in terms of industrial zones and other larger factories.

Industrial revolution clearly demarcated the social classification; further, it formulated physical polarization as well. City divided into many layers and Sister Carrie is giving a vibrant image of the socio, political and economic life of Chicago during 1900s. With the industrial revolution, the social capital placed on a minority of the society. This wealthy class started to dominate the city life with the colossal access to the social opportunities. The prosperity and richness of the city were occupied by the profit makers. New housing programs initiated with the influence of the upper-class families. Clubs, Branded clothing and dining outlets, polo and golf grouds coloured the residential areas of the upper class. The rapid development of industrialization changed the social life of the citizens. Mainly, the polarization of the labour forces including attitudes of profit maximizations created an eight hours labour services.

The unskilled labour flows to Chicago city from all around the world. Many of the unskilled labours from Eastern and Southern Europe, including Poles, Lithuanians, Ukrainians, Hungarians, Czechs, Slovaks, Greeks, and Italians flows to Chicago and settled in the west side of the city. The amateurish white labours including characters like sister Carrie drifted to Chicago and most of these white labour forces settled in suburban areas and south side of the city accommodated the black labour force. With the support of the wealthier class of the society, Northern and Western part of the city started to developed. Many reputed schools and other public resources developed in this areas while other parts of the city remained backwards. The city structure of Chicago during 1990s portrayed the de facto segregation of the society. The industrial realities disturbed by the war ways in the city and many of the river systems including Chicago river, Lake Michigan. Sister Carrie first time visited Chicago to flourish her life in terms of economic prosperity.

She entered to train with rural and middle-class identification and during this journey she met Charlie Drouet. He was a good looking decent person. Once Sister Carrie settles down with her sister, Carrie was entered into Chicago labour force. One day she lost her job and she ended her life with Charlie Drouet. After that Sister Carrie’s life subject to many differences. She seduced by Charlie and George Hurstwood; another character of the Novel disintegrated her life as he was exercising his money, attractive appearance, and romantic verbal communication skills to get Sister Carrie’s attention. However, he intentionally concealed his marital status. Ms Hurstwood realized this unethical affiliation between her husband and Sister Carrie and she got the divorce from her husband. Then Sister Carrie and Hurstwood left the city. (Cliff notes, Sister Carrie)

Chicago city sunk into social stress. Human behaviour shaped by incompleteness and the competition. Mainly industrialization process changed the human behaviour and complement with materialist life. Thus moral values and role of religion fed off from the social structure. Again “Voice, Exit and Loyalty” shaped the socio, political and economic face of Chicago society. Similar to James Joyce, Theodore Dreiser, correspondingly highlighted the Hobbesian nature of human behaviour, deviant acts of society, social classification and separation between religion and society due to industrialization. Mainly author was able to highlight “industrial- mechanistic reality” of the society.

Mikhail Bulgakov rendered the socialist reality in the Communist Soviet Union based on Moscow city. “Master and Margarita” is the perfect picture to understand socialist reality.

The power accumulation of Stalin over communist Russia succeeded in the 1920s. It was eventually noticeable the end of the liberalization of the society and economy of Russia. All the dynamics features of the social process subjected to government control. The terrorization of society in Russia and other republics of the USSR legitimated under the Stalin power. The centralization of the wealth and economic process influenced to the social order and well-being of the citizens of Russia. Agriculture and industries endured by the brutal force of centralizations under the Stalin regime. The cultural freedom restructured by the Stalin power and it negatively impacted to the social stability. Thousands of individuals were eliminated by the brutality of Stalin government. These actions cultivated fear and hazard over the society. The communist party governed the social wealth and it influenced to the life and prosperity of the labour forces in Russia.

A wide range of regimentation replaced the social order as a result of collective industrialization. Collective enterprises substituted individualistic efforts across the country including Moscow. The new agenda of Stalin government inactivated the development of the society and great terror of the government bought the Satan to the Russian society. Mikhail Bulgakov cleverly addressed these social transformations and the dynamic waves of the social life of the citizens through Master and Margarita.

The Book is written in between 1928 and 1940 but Published in 1967. The story simply describes how Satan or the devil entered into Soviet society. (Belyk, The Master and Margarita)

Master, Margarita, Woland and Yeshua and several characters used to present these social realities to the reader. Imperialist Russia governed by Nicolas II and 1917 revolution was able to draught political, socio and economic change in Russian society. Whole society upgraded to the collective labour force. Impulsive economic and industrial development flourished the Soviet society. Moscow identified as a pivotal point of this industrial process and many counter-revolutions deter the social stability. Nationalist ideology reshaped by communist identity. The author describes these physical, ideological and epistemological changes based on Moscow city. Corruption, political crimes, prostitution and bolshie behaviour of Moscow society identified as a devil by the author. This identification is mostly similar to Hobbesian nature of human behaviour. Thus the researcher utilizes “Hobbesian Nature of Human Behavior” as one parameter to compare these three books and respective cities.

1.3. Religion and the society

James Joyce highlighted the religious crisis of the Dublin society. Protestants and British church involved with continuous power struggle since the 1800s’. Because of that Dublin society stagnated and no social modification placed in Dublin. He describes this situation metaphorically by using a term of “Paralyze.”(Cliff Notes, About Dubliners)

Most of the religious institutions were corrupted and religious leaders subjected to financial frauds. Especially Character of Father Flynn was a symbolic presentation of the Roman Catholic Church. In a very first story, Joyce describes how Father Flynn paralyzed and given information about his death. Irish political and social institutions were frozen between Roman Catholic society and British church, and it deters the social development and moral development of the society. Contradictions of religion placed social unrest and particularly within the youth. People discriminate other religious believers. Mainly in the second story “An Encounter” of the book he mentioned,

“A spirit of unruliness diffused itself among us and, under its influence, differences of culture and constitution were waived. We banded ourselves together, some boldly, some in jest and some almost in fear: and of the number of this latter….” (Joyce, 1914)

Social unrest and religion polarization of the society completely stagnated the social development and establish abhorrence among the youth.

“…the ragged troop screaming after us: ‘Swaddlers! Swaddlers!’ thinking that we were Protestants because of Mahony, who was dark- complexioned, wore the silver badge of a cricket club in his cap.” (Joyce, 1914)

Expressly, Roman Catholic Church associates with corruptions in many ways; it changed the entire social moralities and spiritual life of Dubliners. Many of the stories of Dubliners described the Hobbesian nature of the citizens of Dublin. They used to have alcohol, citizens spent their money to prostitution, because religious institutions corrupted and those institutions are not pure enough to address or to develop social moralities. Because of this simony, truancy, pederasty and drunkenness; moral and spiritual aspects of the society sunk in the darkness. No economic boom took place in the society.


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Comparative Analysis of the Social Life of Citizens and Political Interpretation Dublin, Chicago and Moscow
South Asian University  (Department of International Relations)
Masters of International Relations
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The author of this text is not a native English speaker. Please excuse any grammatical errors and other inconsistencies.
Comparative analysis, Hobbesian Nature, Power, Religion, Social Classification
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MA International Relations Dilan Prasad Harsha Senanayake (Author), 2017, Comparative Analysis of the Social Life of Citizens and Political Interpretation Dublin, Chicago and Moscow, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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