A TEACHER?S GUIDE TO THE SIGNET CLASSIC EDITION OF

JAMES JOYCE?S

DUBLINERS
By JAMES R. COPE and WENDY PATRICK COPE

S E R I E S

E D I T O R S :

W. GEIGER ELLIS, ED.D., ARTHEA J. S. REED, PH.D.,

UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA, EMERITUS

and
UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA, RETIRED

A Teacher?s Guide to the Signet Classic Edition of James Joyce?s Dubliners

2

INTRODUCTION Dubliners by James Joyce is a good reading choice for advanced level 12th-grade students. As his first published work of fiction, Dubliners stands by itself both as an important piece of writing and as a forerunner of the experimental style that Joyce would use so effectively in his later works. The fact that in Dubliners Joyce uses a more traditionally structured style makes the novel more accessible than his other works to advanced high school readers. The central theme of paralysis due to the effects of outside forces and individual moral decay will be attractive to older adolescents who are struggling to find their places in a world where they are continually buffeted by outside forces and their own uncertainties. Students who not long ago were playing childhood games and undergoing childhood crushes will identify easily with the characters in the three stories in section one. In section two, these students, who are on the verge of graduating from high school and experiencing the changes coming from this momentous event, will be able to connect strongly with the fear of change faced by Eveline (?Eveline?) while embracing the excitement of dreams for the future held by Jimmy (?After the Race?). The future is very important to adolescents, and Joyce?s glimpses of life in the third section will sound a warning that decisions made early in life carry far-reaching consequences. Students searching for their place in the world relentlessly question the spoken and unspoken rules governing our existence. They will be able to relate to the characters in section four who are bound by conventions and norms of which they are barely aware. Students will enjoy joining Joyce?s unwavering examination of the most powerful institutions in his and our lives. In addition to the personal connections students will be able to make with Joyce?s stories, the book also lends itself to a historical study of Irish history, politics, and religion. Dubliners can be studied in an interdisciplinary unit in English and world history. By studying Joyce?s world, students can better understand many of the forces that have shaped their own. The organization of this teacher?s guide begins with teaching ideas to use before reading starts. From there, the teaching ideas follow the structure that Joyce gave the book in a letter to his publisher: ? ? ? ? Section I, Childhood, contains ?The Sisters,? ?An Encounter,? and ?Araby? (the most anthologized of the stories). Section II, Adolescence, is made up of ?Eveline,? ?After the Race,? ?Two Gallants,? and ?The Boarding House.? Section III, Maturity, also is made up of four stories, ?A Little Cloud,? ?Counterparts,? ?Clay,? and ?A Painful Case.? Section IV, Public Life, is made up of ?Ivy Day in the Committee Room,? ?A Mother,? ?Grace,? and the structurally different ?The Dead.?

Each of these sections contains a synopsis and activities for before, while, and after reading. The activities help elucidate the stories and tie them together. Also, there are suggestions for other works to consider. The teaching ideas are designed to involve students with Joyce?s central themes, characters, and styles while connecting all of them to students? lives. INVESTIGATING THE IMPORTANCE OF JOYCE?S WRITING The originality of Joyce?s style and the influence he had on other writers make him one of the most important writers of the twentieth century. His importance is evident in the considerable amount of scholarly interest in his work. The problem in exploring the literary criticism is not in finding resources but rather in narrowing a focus to just a few works. Feshbach and Herman identify the following as some of the higher quality Joycean scholarship: ? ? ? ? Primary Bibliography?Slocum and Cahoon?s A Bibliography of James Joyce, 1882-1941. Secondary Bibliography?Deming?s A Bibliography of James Joyce Studies. Biographies?Ellmann?s James Joyce and Stanislaus Joyce?s My Brother?s Keeper and The Complete Dublin Diary. General Studies?Levin?s James Joyce: A Critical Introduction, Tindall?s A Reader?s Guide to James Joyce, and Kenner?s Dublin?s Joyce.

BEFORE READING Because so much of the book consists of ?snapshots? of Dublin life in Joyce?s time (1882-1941), it is important to help students understand