Interpret the significance of Jimmy’s inconsistent education in "After the Race" in Dubliners.

1 Answer | Add Yours

accessteacher's profile pic

accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

The story makes it clear that Jimmy's father's prosperity has been something that has allowed Jimmy to receive a much higher standard of education than his background and class would have indicated. Jimmy's father, the story tells us, is a very successful butcher who has made his money through setting up lots of shops in Ireland. Presumably he was eager to give his son the opportunities that he never had which explains Jimmy's education:

He had sent his son to England to be educated in a big Catholic college and had afterwards sent him to Dublin University to study law.

Jimmy is even sent to Cambridge for a term by his father in order to give him experience of this presitigious university. However, it is clear that this education had little impact on Jimmy in terms of improving his moral character, as Jimmy only associates with rich and upper-class individuals and becomes more and more enamoured of their lifestyle. The inconsistent education Jimmy received therefore was overall detrimental to his character, as it left Jimmy desperate to try and fit in within an affluent, upper-class world where he insists on doing everything he can to fit in even when this results in losing lots of money, as happens in the card game at the end where Jimmy insists on playing even though he is badly drunk. The education Jimmy receives therefore only introduces him to a world of glamour and prestige that he is desperate to be a part of.

Sources:

We’ve answered 318,984 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question