50 pages 1 hour read

James Joyce


Fiction | Short Story | Adult | Published in 1914

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Essay Questions

Use these essay questions as writing and critical thinking exercises for all levels of writers, and to build their literary analysis skills by requiring textual references throughout the essay.

Differentiation Suggestion: For English learners or struggling writers, strategies that work well include graphic organizers, sentence frames or starters, group work, or oral responses.

Scaffolded Essay Questions

Student Prompt: Write a short (1-3 paragraph) response using one of the bulleted outlines below. Cite details from the text over the course of your response that serve as examples and support.

1. Throughout the story, Joyce intertwines the concepts of Catholicism and adoration from the narrator’s point of view.

  • In what way does religion influence the narrator’s idea of love? (topic sentence)
  • Identify and analyze 2-3 examples from the text in which the narrator intertwines his religion and his emotions.
  • How does the narrator’s point of view regarding these concepts speak to Joyce’s larger theme of Love and Religion?

2. In his quest for love, the narrator also finds himself grappling with his own immaturity and naivety.

  • Does his role as a narrator suggest that he has dealt with his embarrassment? (topic sentence)
  • Find 1-2 examples from the story and discuss how the narrator’s epiphany of his emotions relates to his maturity.