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Facts in Dubliners

Facts Examples in Dubliners:

The Sisters

🔒 16

"the notice for the Freeman's General..."   (The Sisters)

The "notice" here means a notification of death to be published in the daily national newspaper in Dublin—The Freeman's General and National Press. This newspaper was notable for its favorable reports on church-related matters, including funerals, and served as a vehicle for middle-class Catholic nationalist opinion.

"crossed ourselves..."   (The Sisters)

In Roman Catholic tradition, crossing oneself involves making a sign of the cross upon one's person to symbolize a private prayer for God's favor. Additionally, the sign is a recognition and acknowledgment of Jesus Christ's sacrifice.

"chalice..."   (The Sisters)

A chalice is a vessel similar to a large cup that is used in Mass for holding wine. The wine is then consecrated before being used for communion. The chalice must be made of gold or silver, or the lip of the cup should be silver or gold-lined. For the vessel to become a sacred chalice, a bishop must consecrate it.

"altar..."   (The Sisters)

In the Roman Catholic Church, this is a raised table used for the celebration of the Sacrifice of the Mass. The table must also have an altar stone that has been blessed by a bishop placed on top of it. While Mass may occur in a location outside a church, by tradition Mass cannot happen without an altar or an altar stone.

"towards the secrecy of the confessional..."   (The Sisters)

"The confessional" is a place used by Catholic priests to hear the confessions of the faithful. The physical structure traditionally has two compartments separated by a screen. Duly ordained priests have an obligation of complete confidentiality regarding the confession of sins that the faithful relate to them.

"the different vestments worn by the priest..."   (The Sisters)

Similar to the different types of Masses that occur throughout the liturgical year, the kinds of outer garments that the priests wear change according to the type of Mass performed and represent different, symbolic colors of the faith.

"the meaning of the different ceremonies of the Mass..."   (The Sisters)

In the Roman Catholic Church, Mass is the principle act of worship. The acts of Jesus at the Last Supper, breaking bread and drinking wine, are reproduced to make his sacrifice feel more present. Many different Masses occur throughout different times of the liturgical year, and it is likely these differences and intricacies that Father Flynn explained to the young boy.

"Napoleon Bonaparte..."   (The Sisters)

Father Flynn's interest in telling the narrator stories about Napoleon Bonaparte likely are due to Napoleon's closing of the Irish college in Rome in 1798. Other tales of Napoleon in Ireland included the French emperor stating that the day of his first communion in church was the happiest day of his life.

"catacombs..."   (The Sisters)

Catacombs are places where the dead are buried below ground. These subterranean places consist of galleries with recesses in the walls for tombs. In addition to a place for the dead, the first and second centuries, the Roman catacombs were a place for early Christian to escape religious persecution.

"to pronounce Latin properly..."   (The Sisters)

Since Latin is a dead language, there are different approaches to pronouncing it. Father Flynn was likely an advocate of the Roman method of pronunciation, a 19th-century attempt to pronounce Latin as the influential Roman philosopher and politician Cicero might have in the 1st century BCE. Notably, it differed in pronunciation from medieval church Latin as well as the English method taught in most of Great Britain.

"the Irish college in Rome..."   (The Sisters)

This refers to an Irish seminary founded in 1628. During the 19th century, only the most promising of the Irish ordinands (those preparing to be ordained as priests into the Catholic Church) were educated there.

"S. Catherine's Church..."   (The Sisters)

This Roman Catholic church in Meath Street in central Dublin is located to the south of the river Liffey, in a more socially acceptable part of the city. However, there were still many poor parishioners living in the slum conditions around the church.

"Great Britain Street..."   (The Sisters)

A street in North Central Dublin, Great Britain Street is north of the river Liffey in a part of the city that housed many of the city's poor. It is now known as Parnell Street.

"I'm always saying to that Rosicrucian there..."   (The Sisters)

A Rosicrucian is a member of a fraternity of religious mystics which traces its origins to ancient Egypt by way of the likely fictitious 15th-century German monk Father Christian Rosenkreutz. The 19th century had a revival of interest in mysticism and occult activity when many considered conventional church wisdom unsatisfactory.
The uncle is making a humorous and likely derisive comment on the boy's interests in the mysteries of religion. The uncle likely considers the boy's association with Father Flynn not very healthy for a young boy, preferring him to associate with other youths outside and to "take exercise."

"the Euclid..."   (The Sisters)

Euclid was an Alexandrian Greek who studied geometry. By "the Euclid," the narrator here refers to Euclid's work Elements, a treatise on geometry.

"stirabout..."   (The Sisters)

This is the name of a particular kid of oatmeal porridge that originated in Ireland and is prepared by being boiled in water or milk and then stirred.

"the Dodder..."   (An Encounter)

The River Dodder is one of the three main rivers in Dublin, the others being the Liffey and the Tolka. The Dodder flows into the Liffey and is its largest tributary.

"the Liffey..."   (An Encounter)

The Liffey is the main river upon which Dublin is built. It flows from west to east, dividing the city between a north and south side. Joyce, as well as all native Dubliners before and after him, would have been conscious of the distinctions between these two sides (such as which is for the more affluent, which is for the poor, etc.).

"Ringsend..."   (An Encounter)

A district in Dublin associated with the working class, Ringsend is located south of the mouth of the river Liffey. At the time this story was set, Ringsend was essentially a self-contained village.

"Smoothing Iron..."   (An Encounter)

This was a well known place to swim on the north side of Dublin bay. Due to building development, it is no longer in existence.

"cricket..."   (An Encounter)

Cricket is an English game and was associated in Ireland with the English conquest. Irish nationalists viewed the game as non-national, preferring the Gaelic games of football and hurling. The Gaelic Athletic Association, founded in 1884, promoted national sports and after 1902 included a ban on its members from participating in “foreign games.”

"the Wharf Road..."   (An Encounter)

This road, now known as the East Wall Road, runs along the top of a wall built to make sure the River Tolka stays on its course. Without the wall, the city’s northeastern areas could flood.

"this college..."   (An Encounter)

Based on the setting that Joyce has established in “The Sisters” and this story thus far, Dublin readers would understand this to be Belvedere College, a school for boys run by the Jesuits and renowned for the rigor of its instruction and the quality of its education. Joyce himself went there and many of his experiences provided material for stories in Dubliners as well as in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916).

"Hardly had the day dawned..."   (An Encounter)

The two phrases here (Hardly had the day... and Hardly had the day dawned...) are spoken by Loe Dillon as Father Butler admonishes him. It has been noted that Dillon is likely reading from Caesar’s account of his Gallic wars in Commentarii de Bello Gallico, as several of his opening statements on particular campaign days could be translated this way.

"Lord Lytton..."   (An Encounter)

Lord Lytton (1803–1873) was an English politician and novelist. Many of his works, and also his actual life, were considered morally suspect by the prudish and the religious since they involved sensational and romantic material. He also coined many expressions still used today: “It was a dark and stormy night,” and “The pen is mightier than the sword,” among others.

"Sir Walter Scott..."   (An Encounter)

Sir Walter Scott (1771–1832) was a Scottish poet and historical novelist whose work is best known for dealing with material that evoke in readers a sense of nostalgia or romanticism about the past.

"Thomas Moore..."   (An Encounter)

Thomas Moore (1779–1852) was an Irish poet and the author of Irish Melodies. This text, known as simply Melodies, were enormously popular in Dublin during the Victorian and Edwardian eras.

"sixpence..."   (An Encounter)

“Sixpence” is a small, silver coin that was worth about six pennies. By saving this much, the narrator likely means that they had this amount on them, rather than one coin of this value. At the time this story is set, such an amount of money was likely a week’s allowance for a middle-class child.

"The Apache Chief..."   (An Encounter)

This is a title of a story in The Halfpenny Marvel which, most likely, is a story about the battles between the Native Americans and the cowboys or United States government. The Apache are an Athabascan tribe whose former territory was an expansive tract of land in southwestern North America.

"Indian battles..."   (An Encounter)

This term refers to the mock battles that children sometimes played with one team pretending to be cowboys; the other, Native Americans. The prevalence of this “game” was directly connected to the adventurous, romantic portrayal of the Wild West in the popular imagination, which the boys likely read about in their magazine stories.

"Pluck and The Halfpenny Marvel..."   (An Encounter)

Pluck and The Halfpenny Marvel were popular boys’ magazines that were published in England with the goal to provide clean, instructive stories of adventure. Together with The Union Jack, the goals of these magazines and stories suggest the promotion of an English, imperial agenda in late-Victorian British culture to young boys.

"The Union Jack..."   (An Encounter)

The national flag on the United Kingdom is known as the Union Jack. At the time this story was written, the United Kingdom was officially known as the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. In addition to being the name of the flag, Here, The Union Jack refers to a popular boys’ magazine, like Pluck and The Halfpenny Marvel.

"the Wild West..."   (An Encounter)

Commonly used to refer to the time when the Western United States existed in a period of lawless development, the Wild West also has been used as the setting for adventure stories. This has led to romantic associations in the popular culture of the Wild West with danger, opportunity, and lone heroes.

"The Arab's Farewell to his Steed..."   (Araby)

The Arab's Farewell to his Steed is an Irish poem written by Caroline Norton (1808 – 1877). It was very popular at the time as a piece for recitation in school.

"a ballad about the troubles in our native land..."   (Araby)

One of the ways the revolutionary efforts in 19th- and early-20th-century Ireland acquired public support was to rely on a songs and ballads to recount to wrongdoing done to Ireland and the heroic exploits of Irish patriots.

"a come-all-you..."   (Araby)

Songs of this style were typically well known ballads that employed the particular phrase “Come all you gallant Irishmen and listen to my song" in order to get everyone's attention.

"O'Donovan Rossa..."   (Araby)

Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa (1831–1915) was a Fenian revolutionary responsible for organizing several revolutionary attacks against England (one of them earning him the nickname "Dynamite Rossa"). He was elected to Parliament in 1869 when serving a life sentence for treason.

"the Christian Brothers' School..."   (Araby)

The Christian Brothers' School was a Roman Catholic school for boys well known for its challenging, if not always humane, efforts to educate Ireland's poor. The school was run by a teaching order founded by Ignatius Rice in Waterford in 1802. Joyce briefly went to the Christian Brothers’ School in North Richmond Street in 1893.

"brown..."   (Araby)

While the color brown helps establish a more disheartening and somber tone for the story, this color of brick was commonly used to construct Dublin houses. The brown bricks were known as Dolphin’s Barn, an inner-city suburb of Dublin, bricks because they were made in that part of the city.

"The Memoirs of Vidocq..."   (Araby)

The Memoirs of Vidocq was written by Francois-Jules Vidocq and published in 1829. This popular 19th-century novel concerns the exploits of a Parisian Police Commissioner who uses his status to cover up the crimes he commits. Joyce includes the book here to presents and support the theme of deception in the story. As seen in "An Encounter," deception, and how the characters in Dubliners deceive others and themselves, runs throughout the texts. The boy narrator doesn't understand the significance of these books, which strengthens the deception, because we readers can understand their purpose but the boy himself remains ignorant of their meaning and influence.

"The Devout Communnicant..."   (Araby)

The Devout Communicant refers to a popular Catholic work written by Franciscan Friar Pacificus Baker. Published in 1761, the text uses pious and religious language that perhaps explains how the boy narrator talks about Mangan's sister.

"The Abbot, by Walter Scott..."   (Araby)

Sir Walter Scott wrote The Abbot in 1820. It is a historical novel that portrays the events surrounding the life of Mary Queen of Scots. Religious and romantic, the story focuses on the central character, Roland Graeme, who gets involved in a plot full of adventure and romance—much like the young narrator of "Araby." The presence of this text supports the notion that romantic, religious, and materialist love is not only complex but also confusing for Joyce's narrator.

"Buenos Ayres..."   (Eveline)

This city is the capital of Argentina, a country in South America. During the 19th and early 20th century, Buenos Aires was a thriving and wealthy city due to the many European immigrants who settled there.

"Melbourne..."   (Eveline)

This city is located in Victoria State, Australia. During the 19th century, many Irish criminals were transported to Australia and many emigrants also chose to settle there. Because of the large Catholic-Irish population of the country at the time, the Catholic priesthood was most significantly Irish in terms of personnel and belief.

"What do you put in your gab for..."   (Counterparts)

According to an irish myth, kissing the Blarney Stone, a block of stone on the battlements of Blarney Castle in Ireland, gives a person the ability to speak easily and confidently. This is where the phrase "the gift of the gab" comes from. In context, Farrington is asking "Why did you even say anything?" because he sees the man as having had nothing of value to add.

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