by James Joyce
Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory
Everyone knows Ireland's rainy, but it seems to rain in a lot more in Dubliners than it should. Almost everybody's parade gets poured on. From the narrator of Araby, who walks out to the bazaar in the rain and comes home empty-handed, to the cold wet that keeps everyone indoors on Ivy Day, everything is pretty damp here.
Some of the most annoying rain in Dubliners comes on the night of the fourth and final concert, the one that's supposed to make up for the other botched ones in "A Mother." Maybe if it hadn't rained, everyone would have been in a better mood, Mrs Kearney wouldn't have started a fight, etc. To drive the point home, Joyce describes the effect of the rain on her face and her mood:
She looked out at the rain until the melancholy of the wet street effaced all the trustfulness and enthusiasm from her twisted features. (A Mother.28).
Is this the person you want to rely on when your daughter is about to lose a big paycheck? Hardly.
Sometimes, rain just makes you wet. But in Dubliners, it's the catalyst for disillusionment and paralysis, because rain makes any plan harder to accomplish, and it makes it that much harder to have energy and hope for the future.
In "Ivy Day in the Committee Room," it calls a halt even to the enthusiastic and competitive work of campaigning: "as the weather was inclement and his boots let in the wet, he spent a great part of the day sitting by the fire" (Ivy Day in the Committee Room.9). It's like Dublin's way of saying "no" to all the characters' hopes and dreams. To put to fine a point on it: no one's singing in this rain.