Dubliners by James Joyce

James Joyce (1882 - 1941)

  • Birth (Dublin, 1882)
  • Education: Jesuit schools
  • The continent: Paris
  • His endless love: Nora Barnacle
  • Italy and Italo Svevo
  • Marriage and children
  • Accuses for obscenity in his prose
  • Death (Zurich, 1941)

Major works

  • Dubliners (1914)
  • A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man or Dedalus (1916)
  • Exiles (1918)
  • Ulysses (1922)
  • Finnegans Wake (1939)

The collection

  • Fifteen different short stories
  • Lack of action
  • Moral, social or spiritual revelation
  • Same themes, symbols and narrative techniques
  • Arranged in four groups: childhood, adolescence, mature life, public life


  • The Sisters
  • An Encounter
  • Araby


  • Eveline
  • After the Race
  • Two Gallants
  • The Boarding House

Mature Life

  • A Little Cloud
  • Counterparts
  • Clay
  • A Painful Case

Public Life

  • Ivy Day in the Committee Room
  • A Mother
  • Grace
  • The Dead
My intention was to write a chapter of the moral history of my country and I choose Dublin for the scene because that city seemed to me the center of paralysis. i have tried to present it to the indifferent public under four of its aspects: childhood, adolescence, maturity and public life. the stories are arranged in this order.




  • the escape
  • the park
  • the encounter
  • the conversation
  • the return


  • escape
  • violence and fear
  • tension between Protestants and Catholics


  • the conversation
  • the uncle's forgetfullness
  • Araby: the bazar
  • the return at home


  • love
  • defeat
  • desire for love and new experiences
  • surrender


after the race

  • the dinner at Jimmy's home
  • the American's yatch
  • the drunkness and the gambling
  • the Irish's defeat


  • desire for money and status
  • alcoholism
  • tension between Irish and English
  • Irish's inferiority

two gallants

  • Corley and Lenehan's conversation
  • Corley and his conquist
  • Lenehan's introversion and reflections
  • the girl


  • alcoholism
  • betrayal
  • delusion

Mature life


  • the work
  • the bakery
  • the tram
  • the prediction
  • the singing
  • Joe's sentiments


  • insecurety
  • unsuitableness
  • fragility

A painful case

  • the protagonist's description
  • his love for classic music
  • Emily Sinico's romantic infatuation
  • Mr Duffy's rejection
  • Emily Sinico's alcoholism and suicide


  • repetition
  • stiffness
  • lack of love or sentiments that envolve someone else
  • egoism
  • solitude
  • alcoholism

public life


  • Kernan's fall
  • Power's help
  • Kernan's reabilitation
  • the friends' speeches
  • the Church for Jesuits
  • the Priest's speech


  • religion
  • alcoholism
  • the fall: lack of God's Grace

the dead

  • the annual dance and dinner party
  • the hotel room and Gabriel's sexual desire
  • Gretta's sadness
  • Michael Furey
  • Gabriel's reflections about death


  • death
  • inadequacy and discomfort
  • revelation



she set her white face to him, passive, like a helpless animal. her eyes gave him no sing of love or farewell or recognition.



only she hoped that joe wouldn't come in drunk. he was so different when he took any drink.



better pass boldly into the other world, in the full glory of some passion, than fade and wither dismally with age.

The Dead


...insisting on the soul's incurable loneliness. we cannot give ourselves, it said: we are our own.

A Painful Case

woman's role

she thought how much better it was to be indipendent and to have your own money in your pocket.
"maria, you're a veritable peace-maker!"


ireland vs england

routh (the englishman) won. the cabin shook with the young men's cheering in what they had won. farley and jimmy were the heaviest losers.

After the Race


jesus christ was not a hard taskmaster. he understood our little failings, understood the weakness of our poor fallen nature, understood the temptations of this life. but one thing only, he said, he would ask to his hearers. and that was: to be straight and manly with god.


narrative techniques

  • no omniscient narrator or single point of view
  • narrated monologue -> free direct speech
  • varied linguistic register
  • realism and symbolism: details

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