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An Encounter: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Why is it surprising that Joe Dillon chooses the priesthood for a vocation?

2. What is the overall significance of the statement: “Real adventures, I reflected, do not happen to people who remain at home: they must be sought abroad”?

3. Explain how Leo Dillon represents the narrator’s conscience.

4. What is the symbolism of the color green in the story?

5. Why does Mahoney brag about having “totties”?

6. Why is Mahoney unconcerned about the bizarre qualities of the man, while the narrator notices them?

7. Why does the old man “seem to plead” with the boy “that [he] should understand him”?

8. What is the significance of Mahoney chasing the cat with a slingshot, and his focus on this?

9. Why does the narrator believe that the older man is repeating his statements about girls as if “he had learned them by heart”?

10. Why does the narrator listen to the older man’s warped dialog for so long before leaving?

Answers
1. Because he “played too fiercely” for the other children and is the most violent of the narrator’s acquaintances.

2. This concept permeates the lives of many of the Dubliners in this collection: Eveline ,...

(The entire section is 384 words.)