"The sisters" by James Joyce

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Sintesi della trama e commento in lingua inglese della novella tratta da "Dubliners" (2 pagine formato pdf)

James Joyce (1882-1941) The Sisters, ( taken from “Dubliners”)

The story can be divided into three sections.

First section

Setting in time: vacation time and dinner time.

Setting in place: the house of the narrator, who is a boy.

The characters involved and their actions:

· The boy: he listens to the conversation between his uncle and Old Cotter.

· Old Cotter: he smokes his pipe, tells about Father Flynn’s death and observes the boy’s reactions.

· The boy’s uncle: he speaks to Old Cotter and comments on Father Flynn’s death.

· The boy’s aunt: she speaks and serves the dinner.

The protagonist is given some news at dinner, the old priest’s death.
He tries to hide his feelings and sensations, because he was a friend of the dead priest.
The name of the dead person mentioned in the first paragraph is Father Flynn.

The subject of the conversation between old Cotter and the boy’s uncle is Father Flynn’s death and education. According to the boy’s uncle and old Cotter a boy should run and play with the children of his age. The boy dislikes old Cotter because he alludes to him as a child.

Second section

The narrator after dinner goes to his bedroom, sleeps and starts to dream. The boy receives a confession from the priest.

The following morning, after the priest’s death, the boy feels “strange”, “annoyed” and has a “sensation of freedom”.