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A Painful Case: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Mr. Duffy lives in Chapelizod, in legend associated with the great romance of Tristan and Isolde. Comment on the irony of this.

2. The reader is surprised to find a copy of Wordsworth’s poetry on Duffy’s shelf. Why?

3. Why is his liking for Mozart described as a dissipation?

4. Duffy collects quotations and communicates with Emily through them. What’s the significance of this?

5. Why does Duffy insist that they meet at her house?

6. Why has it never occurred to Duffy to publish his ideas?

7. When he first learns of Emily’s death, Duffy feels no responsibility. Why not?

8. Where does Duffy go to think about Emily, and why is this ironic?

9. Why does Joyce describe Duffy’s reading of the obituary as in Secreto, like a priest?

10. Explain the significance of the very last word of the story.

Answers
1. It’s ironic because Duffy is incapable of any love, let alone one as intense as that between Tristan and Isolde.

2. Wordsworth, probably one of the greatest Romantic poets of all time, expressed a desire to become more...

(The entire section is 362 words.)