Dubliners Then, Dubliners Now
Remapping Twentieth Century Social Experience for Twenty-First Century Social Spaces
The Oakridge School – February 2013
James Joyce’s Dubliners has no “main character” except for the city of Dublin itself. The characters and their stories, therefore, make up a network of human experiences of both the young and the old with Dublin as their physical and emotional locus. The stories, taken together, are about characters thrown into a new kind of social space – the twentieth century cityscape – where those same characters paradoxically experience both excitement and disillusionment. Their new social space enables modern Dubliners to navigate new experiences, to perceive the world differently, to realize unknown desires, and to experience a newer, more distinct sense of emotional or material lack as well.
(1) How does place/social space impact character(s) in Joyce’s Dubliners? Optional: How do 21st century spaces/places do the same?
(2) How does a character ironically experience both more connectedness and more isolation in the world of Dubliners? Optional: Are there analogous kinds of experiences in 21st century spaces?
(3) Analyze a character’s experience (or characters’ experiences) of paralysis and confinement in Joyce’s Dubliners. Optional: Are there ways that such experiences can translate as true or applicable for our encounters in the 21st century?
(4) Explore Joyce’s notion of epiphany in his collection, Dubliners. Analyze a character’s experience of an epiphany. Optional: Explore the idea of experiencing epiphanies in our 21st century world – is it less possible or more possible now?
(5) Analyze a character’s quest for truth and clarity. Explore why such quests end with the experience of confusion and disillusionment. Optional: Is such a quest more or less difficult today in our social spaces?
(6) Explore the experience of reading Dubliners as a 21st century individual.
(7) Respond creatively by writing another story or perhaps completing a story (from Dubliners) whose narrative remains “incomplete”
(attach submission as word document)
Upper School Teacher
The Oakridge School
5900 West Pioneer Parkway
Arlington, TX 76013
(817) 863 – 2481