50 pages 1 hour read

James Joyce


Fiction | Short Story | Adult | Published in 1914

A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality Study Guides with detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, and more. For select classroom titles, we also provide Teaching Guides with discussion and quiz questions to prompt student engagement.

Reading Context

Use these questions or activities to help gauge students’ familiarity with and spark their interest in the context of the work, giving them an entry point into the text itself.

Short Answer

1. In contemporary Ireland, almost 70% of Irish people identify as Catholic. Consider the role of Catholicism in Ireland’s history. Has religion had a unifying or divisive effect on the people of Ireland? In which ways have the tenets of Catholicism shaped social expectations and the daily lives of Irish people?

Teaching Suggestion: This question orients students with the historical and religious context of Ireland. The Christian sect of Catholicism is an important aspect of Irish history and society. Initially brought to the island in the fifth century CE, the Catholic Church has been a defining element of Irish identity for hundreds of years. In this vein, the Church became more than a proponent of faith; it also functioned as a powerful institution that supported state building after the War of Independence from the UK in the 1920s, which ultimately led to the division of the Republic of Ireland from Northern Ireland, which remained part of the UK.

During the turbulent “Troubles” of the late 20th century, Irish Republicans (i.e., those who supported a united Ireland) fought to reunite the island; the bloody political conflict between largely Protestant Northern Ireland and the predominantly Catholic Republic of Ireland took many innocent lives.