Dubliners After the Race: Questions and Answers

James Joyce

After the Race: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Interpret the significance of Jimmy’s inconsistent education.

2. Why is it meaningful that Jimmy’s father becomes wealthy only after he abandons his patriotic beliefs?

3. Jimmy’s investment in Segouin’s racecar is ambiguously described. Why has the author failed to provide further details?

4. Interpret the sentence: “Rapid motion through space elates one; so does notoriety; so does the possession of money.”

5. What’s ironic about Seguouin’s toast to “Humanity”?

6. The story describes the circuitous route taken by the “friends” as they wander around after the race. What is the symbolism implied in their wandering?

7. While they celebrate, the author writes that Dublin harbor “lay like a darkened mirror at their feet.” Is there significance in this?

8. Why does Jimmy’s father, a shrewd businessman, not question Jimmy’s investment more carefully?

9. Why is Jimmy unconcerned about his heavy losses at cards?

10. Why is it Villona who shouts, “Daybreak, gentlemen!”

Answers
1. The inconsistency signifies that Jimmy lacks focus; the overwhelmingly British influence of his education shows us that Jimmy’s family doesn’t value Irish culture.

2. This symbolizes the impoverished Irish nationalist movement.

3. The investment is obviously risky; it’s likely that its details are also ambiguous to Jimmy himself.

4. With his “rapid motion,” Jimmy is staving off paralysis; his fame and wealth also help him escape the fate of the other Dubliners in this book.

5. He interrupts with the toast so that Routh and Jimmy will not argue about Irish independence.

6. The group—like Jimmy himself—lacks direction.

7. One cannot see anything in a “darkened mirror.” Jimmy can’t discern the true nature of these “friends,” who are about to swindle him in cards.

8. He’s so eager for his son to be a social success that he’s willing to risk a poor investment.

9. Like his father, Jimmy is so eager to enter into a cosmopolitan European world that he’s willing to let himself be exploited.

10. Villona, who has no money, doesn’t gamble. He’s the only one to see the light of day, but now it’s time for Jimmy to recognize the reality of things as well.