Dubliners

Dubliners is considered a champion among books written in the English language. James Joyce's characterization of not only the people in the stories, but of Dublin itself, demonstrates his great ability as an author. Dubliners is not a book with a normal story line, a plot, and a definite climax and resolution. Instead, it is more of a setting, an atmosphere, an “epiphany” as Joyce called it. To understand the book, it is recommendable to focus on Irish history, and more specifically, Charles Stewart Parnell. He is a figure alluded to in this and other books by Joyce. He has been referred to as the “uncrowned king of Ireland.”
The series of short stories included in Dubliners depict a broken morale in and around the city of Dublin. The early 1900's marked a time of disheartened spirits not only in Dublin but all of Ireland. England still clutched Ireland under it's own control.. The citizens were bitter and dismayed.
It wasn't until 1922 that Ireland freed itself from England. Up until that time, Ireland was occupied and ruled from Britain. The occupation had begun hundreds of years before, but from the end of the 18th century, a distinct Irish nationalism began to evolve. From 1801 onwards, Ireland had no Parliament of it's own. It was ruled by the Parliament in Britain which consisted of the House of Commons and House of Lords.
Meanwhile, in the 1840's, a small group formed out of the Young Ireland movement. The leader, Thomas Davis, expressed a concept of nationality embracing all who lived in Ireland regardless of creed or origin. A small insurrection in 1848 failed, but their ideas influenced the coming generations.
This small nationalism was illustrated in the stories “Evelyn” and “A Painful Case.” In the latter, Mr. James Duffy, despite his dislike of the “modern an pretentious” Dublin, decides to stay at least in the suburbs and commute back and forth to his house. Also in the story of …