Dubliners is a collection of 15 short stories by James Joyce, first published in 1914. The fifteen stories were meant to be a naturalistic depiction of the Irish middle class life in and around Dublin in the early years of the 20th century. The stories were written at the time when Irish nationalism was at its peak, and a search for a national identity and purpose was raging; at a crossroads of history and culture, Ireland was jolted by various converging ideas and influences. They center on Joyce's idea of an epiphany: a moment where a character has a special moment of self-understanding or illumination. Many of the characters in Dubliners later appear in minor roles in Joyce's novel Ulysses. The initial stories in the collection are narrated by children as protagonists, and as the stories continue, they deal with the lives and concerns of progressively older people. This is in line with Joyce's tripartite division of the collection into childhood, adolescence and maturity. (From feedbooks.com)
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According to the details in the first paragraph, what does it mean that Lily was "run off her feet"?
Given the information you receive in the first paragraph alone, what can you infer one of the differences is between Lily and the two other women (Miss Kate and Miss Julia)?
This story starts "en medias res," which is Latin for "in the middle of." This means the reader is dropped into the middle of a scene without a lot of prior knowledge, and it usually takes a few pages (or more) to get the gist of what's going on. This happens a lot in movies as well... Perhaps you can think of a movie that begins en medias res?
In paragraph two we learn: a) Kate and Julia Morkan are sisters; b) their brother Pat is dead; c) Mary Jane is Kate and Julia’s neice, and she is now in her 30s; d) Lily is housemaid to the Misses Morkan.
This is a slang word meaning "intoxicated."
Please name and describe ONE of the literary devices Joyce uses in the highlighted text.
A muffler is a thick scarf, seen below. (This annotation contains an image)
How does Gabriel feel about Lily? How do you know? Please provide textual evidence to support your response.
Robert Browning was an English poet; you can read about him in the link below. (This annotation contains a link)
Gabriel is Kate and Julia's nephew, the son of their dead sister Ellen, which makes Mary Jane Gabriel's
In your own words, what does Gabriel's "solicitude" mean?
(This annotation contains an image)
Continental Europe, also referred to as mainland Europe or simply the Continent is the continent of Europe, explicitly excluding European islands. (This annotation contains an image)
This story is the longest in a collection called "The Dubliners." The setting of the story is Dublin, which is the capital city of Ireland. (This annotation contains an image)
What is going on in this story, from what you can gather so far?
Quadrille is a historic dance performed by four couples in a rectangular formation, and a precursor to traditional square dancing. It is also a style of music. (This annotation contains a video)
Are these details about Freddy Malins's appearance flattering or unflattering? Please explain your answer, citing which words from the text support your response.
Mary Jane is playing the piano to a(n) ___________ crowd.
This phrase means the same thing as "I have a bone to pick with you," which means, "I have a problem with you!"
You can see the Aran Isles on the map below, off the west coast of Ireland. (This annotation contains an image)
What is everyone worrying over Freddy for?
You may have gathered at this point that this label is an insult to Gabriel. "West Briton" is a pejorative term for an Irish person who is perceived by other Irish people as being too anglophilic. An anglophile is a non-English person who greatly admires England and English things in matters of culture or politics.
A "row" is an argument.
Please name at least TWO reasons Gabriel feels it would be more pleasant to be elsewhere than at this party.
What is Gabriel's internal conflict? He has more than one, so feel free to mention several.
Watch this video about internal and external conflict before answering the next question. (This annotation contains a video)
What is Aunt Kate's grievance with the pope?
This is an Irish phrase meaning "Blessings to you;" it is meant in the spirit of a warm "Goodbye."
Please describe the shift in the tone of the conversation brought on by Freddy's rhetorical question.
What literary device is Mr. Browne using in this quote?
Why do you suppose these details that are seemingly unrelated to the events happening in the plot are included here?
What is the subject of the first paragraph of Gabriel's speech?
This is an allusion to Greek mythology. You can read about the Three Graces below. (This annotation contains a link)
"Mock astrakhan" is a material resembling the closely-curled black or grey fleece of young lambs from Astrakhan, but likely made from wool and mohair instead.
A "glue boiler" is someone whose occupation is the making of glue by boiling the skin and hoofs of horses to obtain the gelatinous matter.
One thing to note is the absence of any intense conflict in this story so far. Unlike many characters in literature, these characters are relatively nice to each other, and seem relatively well-adjusted. Do you think this will continue throughout the story? If not, what do you think might change it?
What does this simile mean?
In the highlighted sentence, the word save most nearly means
Notice the shift in tone this moment brings about. The fun, slightly chaotic dinner party contrasts the reflective, philosophical mood Gabriel is suddenly in here.
What is a repentant tone?
"The Lass of Aughrim" is a traditional Irish song. (This annotation contains a video)
Notice that up until this point, the story has taken place in one evening, with no flashbacks or flash forwards in time. The setting also has not changed, we've been in the home of the Morkan women since the story began.
Gabriel, upon leaving the dinner party with his wife, is suddenly feeling ___________.
Several things have shifted in the last few pages, among them, the mood, setting, and structure. Please choose one of these and describe how it has changed, using evidence from the text to support your response.
Gretta has been largely absent from the story up until now. What do you think caused Gabriel to suddenly become so nostalgic and sentimental and emotional about his wife? It started just before they left the party, when Gabriel looked up at Gretta's silhouette on the staircase and envisioned the image as a painting. What was it about that moment that catapulted him into this revery?
A sovereign is a gold coin.
This refers to a long mirror mounted on swivels in a frame, seen below. (This annotation contains an image)
Remember, Gretta was listening to this song when Gabriel started his revery at the staircase.
Why do you think Gretta's comment angers Gabriel?
In what point-of-view is this story written?
At this point, you should be able to start piecing together an idea of one of the themes this story touches upon. Take a moment to explain a theme you see emerging below.
Over the course of the story Gabriel has significant encounters with three women: Lily, Miss Ivors, and finally Gretta. Please explain the relationship between these three encounters.
Please write a paragraph comparing or contrasting Gabriel and a character from another book you've read.