In “Araby,” why does the narrator want to go to the bazaar? 

The young narrator in “Araby” wants to buy something at the bazaar for Mangan’s older sister, with whom he is infatuated. During their brief interaction, Mangan’s sister says she would love to go to the bazaar, but she can’t because of a retreat at her convent. The narrator replies, “If I go . . . I will bring you something,” and this mission consumes his thoughts for days thereafter. 

Why does Eveline decide to stay in Dublin in “Eveline”? 

Although Eveline is unhappy caring for her abusive father in Dublin, she stays because it is secure and familiar, and she remembers a promise she made to her dying mother to keep the household together for as long as possible. Her lover, Frank, implores Eveline to leave on a boat with him, but her reliance on routine and familiarity overrides her impulse to escape Dublin. Because her mother lived a similarly hard, domestic life, Eveline’s blank passivity on the boat dock suggests in the end that she felt she had no other choice but to live the life she was given. 

In “Counterparts,” why is Farrington unable to concentrate on his work?

Farrington consistently underperforms at work because he is an alcoholic, and sneaks out for a drink at the pub multiple times a day. Thoughts about drinking literally interrupt his work, to the point where he only cares about his paycheck because it funds his thirst. The monotony of Farrington’s job as a copy clerk at a law firm enrages him, and he only finds release from the tedium in fantasizing about hot drinks and crowded pubs.

Why does Little Chandler admire Gallaher in “A Little Cloud”?

Gallaher writes in London, travels across continental Europe, and lives a free life as a bachelor, leading the life Little Chandler once aspired to have. Though Gallaher is “wild” and known for occasional trouble, “nobody denied him talent. . . . Even when he was out at elbows and at his wits’ end for money he kept up a bold face.” Whereas Little Chandler is meek and mild-mannered, Gallaher is gruff and courageous, traits that Chandler at once envies and reviles. Little Chandler compares his life to Gallaher’s, and in doing so, Little Chandler blames his failed attempt to become a poet on the constraints around him: Dublin, his wife, and his child.

What causes Gretta’s strange mood at the end of “The Dead”?

At the close of the annual party hosted by Kate, Julia, and Mary Jane Morkan, Mr. D’Arcy sings “The Lass of Aughrim,” a song that Gretta’s long deceased childhood love used to sing to her. Gretta grows nostalgic, and her husband Gabriel, unaware of the cause, finds his wife’s mysterious, absent mood intensely attractive. Later in the hotel room Gretta explains, “I am thinking about a person long ago who used to sing that song. . . . It was a young boy I used to know . . . named Michael Furey.” When Gabriel grows jealous, she tells him that the boy is dead and that he died for her. Gabriel is disturbed by his wife’s disclosure and contemplates his own mortality.