50 pages 1 hour read

James Joyce


Fiction | Short Story | Adult | Published in 1914

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Important Quotes

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“He had been a very charitable priest; in his will he had left all his money to institutions and the furniture of his house to his sister.”

(Page 249)

The dead priest is a reminder to the narrator of everything that he has lost. Like the narrator’s parents, the priest is no longer with the narrator. While the priest was charitable and left his money to institutions and his furniture to charity, the narrator’s parents have not left him with anything tangible. The narrator picks through the priest’s possessions to remind him of how little has been left behind by his parents; the dead priest’s unwanted items are more of a concern in the narrator’s life than anything his parents once owned.

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“The cold air stung us and we played till our bodies glowed.”

(Page 249)

The children playing in the street on the winter nights carry an air of defiance about them. They play relentlessly, regardless of the weather. Even though the cold air stings them, they play on until they are told to stop. As such, their glowing bodies bind them together in a demonstration of their defiant urge to socialize with one another. They may not have much, but their red, glowing skin is a reminder of the friendships which they do have.