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Topics for Further Study

(Short Stories for Students)

Joyce once said that in Dubliners he intended "to write a chapter of the moral history of" Ireland, because Dublin seemed to him to be at the "centre of paralysis." What do you think he meant by that? If you were to write a chapter of the moral history of your country, which city would you choose to be at the center? Why?

A recurring theme in many of the stories in Dubliners is a longing for escape expressed through fantasies of flight to someplace Eastern and exotic. What place represents the unknown to you? Research this place and discuss whether it is truly exotic and mysterious or just different.

Catholicism figures prominently in much of Joyce's work. Compare the influence of the Catholic Church in Ireland at the turn of the century and today. Would the themes of religious confusion and doubt in "Araby" create controversy in modern-day Ireland?