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Topics for Discussion

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

1. Only the first three stories in the collection, the ones dealing with childhood, have first-person narrators; the remainder are told in the third-person. Why do you think this might be the case?

2. The manner in which the narrator of "Araby" imagines himself, Mangan's sister, and the "Araby" bazaar tells us much about his youthful perceptions of his world. How would you describe those perceptions? How does the imaginary picture he paints differ from the world in which he lives.

3. How does Joyce establish the characters of Mr. Doran, Mrs. Mooney, and Polly in "The Boarding House"? Why will Mr. Doran marry Polly? How aware is Polly of her mother's scheme?

4. Look carefully at Eveline's thoughts regarding the sailor, Frank, in "Eveline." Do you think she would have found happiness if she had gone to Buenos Aires with him? What evidence suggests that this might not have been the case?

5. The title of "A Little Cloud " alludes to a Biblical passage, I Kings 18:44: "And it came to pass at the seventh time, that he said, Behold, there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea, like a man's hand" The little cloud is the harbinger of a great rain, which the prophet Elijah summons to end a drought. What might be the...

(The entire section is 426 words.)