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Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
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Themes

Little Words, Big Ideas

Inertia

Time to get your learn on: Newton's first law of motion says that objects in motion tend to stay in motion until an outside force acts upon them. It's the law of inertia, which is a fancy way of sa...

Freedom and Confinement

Trying to find a way out of some situation or country or relationship motivates so many characters that the collection could have been titled, Wannabe Ex-Dubliners. (Hmm, Joyce must have preferred...

Isolation

Every time you read a story in Dubliners, pretend for a second that the title of that story is "Dubliner." You'll get a sense of each story as a case study of one (or sometimes two or three) person...

Love

How could you portray a whole city without telling a few passionate love stories, right? Dubliners reads like the book version of Love Actually, with fewer happy endings and a whole lot more booze....

Suffering

Let's be honest, the one thing almost all stories in Dubliners have in common is some form of intense suffering, be it physical pain or mental anguish. You could argue that Dublin itself is respons...

Disappointment

Disappointment in Dubliners is all about the painful experience of finding out that what you thought was possible was nothing but a pipe dream. If you're lucky, you get over it. Not so much for the...

Family

It takes a village. It really does. And Dublin is not a village in this collection. It's a tough place to raise a kid: if they aren't mistreated by their families, and sometimes outright abused, th...

Drugs and Alcohol

As if all of the abstract, existential, emotional problems weren't enough, half of the characters in Dubliners are out and out alcoholics. Sometimes Joyce focuses on the short-term consequences of...
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