Dubliners Study Guide

Dubliners Study Guide

Original title:
Published March 15th 2001 by Oxford University Press (first published 1914)
ISBN 0192839993 (ISBN13: 9780192839992)

Those of you who think that reading James Joyce is a challenging endeavor should start with his early works, like “The Dubliners”. This collection of short stories was published at the beginning of the 19th century when the nationalist movement was intense in Dublin.  

The fifteen stories are narrated by different characters and have different themes. The first ones are told by children, and then the adults take over as the narrators. So one may say that the book develops from the birth of identity, throughout adolescence when a person learns to understand and accept himself, and into maturity period when the values are already set and developed.

The book is a manifestation of life as it is. Life as a diversity of experiences, and life as a set of moments. It is full of small people and alpha males, there are dull days and bright evenings, romantic relationships and cold marriages. Dublin is about all these concepts and much more. It is a city full of life that goes beyond these 15 short stories.

It’s impossible not to fall in love with the city based on the descriptions in the text. Its bright sunshine, cozy streets, bright shops, and enticing smells will make everybody want to book a ticket immediately.

These stories are about ordinary people who live through ordinary events. The only difference is that in real life readers tend to avoid or deliberately not notice these stories. We don’t want to know about death and pain our neighbors are going through. But we start thinking about them when reading the majestic text by the legendary James Joyce.

There are people who think that “The Dubliners” are best discovered as it is – without interpretation into Joyce’s style, without looking for his ideas of epiphany or drawing parallels between the roles the characters play in his other books. But if you are an experienced reader, you will find even more ways to interpret and analyze the text.

New Essays

Realism in Joyce's Dubliners

There are not many individual who can claim to have completely redelevoped a style of writing, but James Joyce was not like most individuals. As an introverted yet observant youth, Joyce formed a highly progressive (while unpatriotic) view of his hometown of Dublin (Levin, 11). When considering...

Ap English. story of Dubliners

The very first story of Dubliners outlines a large theme that can overlay much of the book and may in part be why James Joyce decided to group all of these short stories into one book. The first short story called “Two Sisters” focuses on the paralysis of a young boy as the impending...

Dubliners Is More Than Just a Selection of Short Stories. Discuss.

Dubliners is more than just a selection of short stories. Discuss. Joyce’s Dubliners in many ways fulfils many of the literary criteria for the Irish short story, with each of the fifteen stories having the literary power to stand alone as members of the genre. However there is a continuity and...

In James Joyce’s the Dubliners, How Do the Characters’ Routines Impede Their Opportunities for Adventure and Excitement?

In “Araby”, “Eveline”, and “The Dead”, three short stories featured in James Joyce’s The Dubliners, the characters struggle with whether to live their lives with a structured routine or to seek opportunities, change, and adventure. These short stories center around everyday life for citizens of...

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