James Joyce Study Guides

  • James Joyce

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  • A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

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    A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is the story of young Stephen Daedalus as he grows up in Ireland, dealing with matters of religion, family, national politics, and sexuality while realizing his own ambitions as a writer. The story is told as a fluid stream of episodes, alternating between moments of victory and loss, culminating in the decision to leave his past, and Ireland, ultimately behind him. In writing Portrait, Joyce draws much from his personal life, lending the story an additional layer of psychological weight.

  • Araby

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    "Araby" is a short story by James Joyce that appeared in his collection Dubliners. The vignette is about a boy who has a crush on a girl but does not know how to deal with his feelings. The story follows his travels to the Araby bazaar late one evening to buy her a gift but is disappointed when he finds stalls closed and only a few seedy characters flirting with one another. The short story contrasts a youthful romantic view of love with a drab and adult world of lust.

  • Eveline

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  • The Dead

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    "The Dead" is a short story by James Joyce, the last story featured in his collection of short stories, Dubliners. The story takes place during a snowy evening at a party held at the Morkan sisters'. Gabriel and his wife Gretta attend and return home. Before going to bed, Gretta reveals to Gabriel that the song "The Lass of Aughrim," sung at the party, reminded her of her young love, Michael Furey, who died years ago. Gabriel goes to bed pondering themes of love, death and alienation.

  • Finnegans Wake

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    Finnegans Wake is a work of prose by James Joyce, written over the course of seventeen years and published in 1939. The book is considered one of the most difficult books in the English language due to its excessive experiments with language, its non-linearity, stream of consciousness narration and dream sequences. However, a narrative can be extracted from the book, tracing the lives of the Earwickers, the father, HCE, the mother, ALP, and the sons, Shaun in particular, who attempt to supersede him.

  • Ulysses

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    Ulysses is the powerfully symbolic and ambitious story of Stephen Daedalus and Leopold and Molly Bloom. The characters are richly and unflinchingly imagined, and the story through which they move chronicles a single day in the city of Dublin, Ireland. The story's format roughly follows that of the Odyssey with Bloom as a modern Odysseus. The story deals with Irish nationalism, British imperialism, scholarly and literary allusion, mythology, marriage, and human connection.

  • Dubliners

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    Dubliners is a collection of short stories by the Irish writer James Joyce. The stories follow various middle-class Dubliners at various stages of life, from stories of youth in the beginning of the book to "The Dead", the last story of the book. Though the stories are written in the third person, they often take on the perspectives and styles of the characters they describe. Most of the stories center around a character's experience of poignancy or epiphany.