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Blog criado por Bruno Coriolano de Almeida Costa, professor de Língua Inglesa desde 2002. Esse espaço surgiu em 2007 com o objetivo de unir alguns estudiosos e professores desse idioma. Abordamos, de forma rápida e simples, vários aspectos da Língua Inglesa e suas culturas. Agradeço a sua visita.

"Se tivesse perguntado ao cliente o que ele queria, ele teria dito: 'Um cavalo mais rápido!"

terça-feira, 28 de janeiro de 2014

English Literature III: Dubliners (James Joyce)

For my next class about English Literature III at university, I will present ‘James Joyce’s life and work’. I simply love this Irish writer, poet… well; he was a lot of things.

We’ll basically talk about his style and I am going to ask my students to read four short stories from DUBLINERS – the sisters, Eveline, after the race, and counterparts.

Some people might not know it, but Joyce wrote this book using a very particular structure – he wrote this one dividing the tales into four sections. I have to say that I haven’t noticed it until I read it for the third time.

Section I, Childhood, contains “The Sisters,” “An Encounter,” and “Araby” (the most anthologized of the stories).

Section II, Adolescence, is made up of “Eveline,” “After the Race,” “Two Gallants,” and “The Boarding House.”

Section III, Maturity, also is made up of four stories, “A Little Cloud,” “Counterparts,” “Clay,” and “A Painful Case.”

Section IV, Public Life, is made up of “Ivy Day in the Committee Room,” “A Mother,” “Grace,” and the structurally different “The Dead.”

“Dubliners is not merely a group of short stories structured according to stages of human development. Joyce meant Dubliners to be read as a novel of a city’s development, with its inhabitants growing from innocence to experience. In a letter to a prospective editor, Joyce wrote:”

My intention was to write a chapter of the moral history of my country, and I chose Dublin for the scene because that city seemed to me the centre 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. I have written it for the most part in a style of scrupulous meanness and with the conviction that he is a very bold man who dares to alter in the presentment, still more to deform, whatever he has seen and heard.

(from Herbert Gorman, James Joyce, New York, 1940, V-iv.)

If you have read those short stories, consider this:

“The Sisters”
A young boy must deal with the death of Father Flynn, his mentor, exposing him to others’ opinions of the priest. These force him to examine their relationship and cause him to see himself as an individual for the first time.

Eveline chooses the familiarity of a life in which she is mistreated by her abusive father and takes the place of her dead mother in raising her younger siblings over the fear of change represented by starting a new life in a new country with the man who loves her.

“After the Race”  
A young gentleman (Jimmy) learns that he doesn’t have what it takes to succeed in his circle of sophisticated and glamorous international friends.

Farrington is a lazy, incompetent copier and an abusive husband and father. He tries to escape the depression, rage, and hopelessness caused by the mess he has made of his job and homelife through liquid lunches and drunken evenings out with the boys.
Me and "James Joyce" in Dublin. Photo taken by some guy in Dublin.  

Because of the unfamiliar language and complex writing style used by Joyce, students might need some help in order to fully understand the tales. Here there are some questions:


1. What is old Cotter’s opinion of Father Flynn?
2. What was the boy’s relationship to Father Flynn?
3. What is the boy’s reaction to the news of the priest’s death and old Cotter’s scrutiny?)
4. What are old Cotter’s and the uncle’s views on the benefits of the boys relationship with the priest?
5. What did the priest die from? Describe the physical aspects of his illness.
6. When he realizes that Father Flynn is dead, what is the boy’s reaction?  
7. What lessons did the priest teach the boy?  
8. Who took care of the details of Father Flynn’s lying in state?  


1. What was the children’s biggest worry while playing in the field?
2. Now that Eveline has decided to leave, what sort of things has she begun to notice? Why?
3. What are the advantages and disadvantages of her going away?
4. What does her father mean by, “I know these sailor chaps”?
5. How does the memory of her mother both hold her and drive her to escape?
6. Why does she not go with Frank? What holds her back?


1. Describe Jimmy’s education. Why is his father secretly proud of his excesses?
2. Why is Jimmy taken with Segouin?
3. Why has Jimmy kept his excesses within limits? What does this say about him?
4. In what is Jimmy about to invest? Does this seem to be a good investment? Why or why not?
5. How does Segouin diffuse the heated discussion of politics? What does this say about him?
6. What meaning do you take from the following line, “he would lose, of course”?


1. What do Mr. Alleyne’s complaints about Farrington tell us about Farrington? What is his private reaction to these
complaints, and how does this reaction support or weaken Mr. Alleyne’s accusations?
2. Why is Farrington unable to concentrate on his work?
3. What is Farrington’s reaction when Mr. Alleyne publicly reprimands him? Is his reaction justified?
4. What got Farrington off to a bad start with Mr. Alleyne? What does this say about Farrington?
5. How does Farrington get enough money to go drinking? What is his reaction to getting money in this way? What does this say about him?
6. What is the basis for conversation between Farrington and his friends? What do these stories say about them and about their lives?
7. How does Weathers anger Farrington? What breach of etiquette has he made?
8. Compare Farrington’s treatment by his bosses to his treatment of his son? What is the irony in this comparison?



I hope you guys enjoyed the post. I am really enjoying every single moment of it.

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