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by James Joyce

Dubliners Family Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Story.Paragraph)

Quote #1

The children—two girls and a boy, conscious of their father's helplessness and of their mother's absence, began some horseplay with him. He was surprised at their manners and at their accents and his brow grew thoughtful. (Grace.49)

Mr Cunningham seems like one of the only people in Dubliners who thinks about helping the children. He's certainly the only one in "Grace" who pays any attention to them.

Quote #2

Mr Holohan pointed desperately towards the hall where the audience was clapping and stamping. He appealed to Mr Kearney and to Kathleen. But Mr Kearney continued to stroke his beard and Kathleen looked down, moving the point of her new shoe: it was not her fault. Mrs Kearney repeated:

"She won't go on without her money." (A Mother.52-53)

Just like the narrators of "An Encounter" and "Araby," here's another child whose experience of shame makes it into Dubliners. It's amazing just how much poor Kathleen's life is impacted by her mother's crappy decisions.

Quote #3

"Only I'm an old man now I'd change his tune for him. I'd take the stick to his back and beat him while I could stand over him—as I done many a time before. The mother, you know, she cocks him up with this and that." (Ivy Day in the Committee Room.13)

This is a pretty dysfunctional dynamic, as far as we're concerned. The father wishes he could still beat his (drunkard of a) son, and blames his mother for giving him ideas.

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