Dubliners is set in the various boroughs of Dublin, Ireland in the early 20th century. Irish nationalism was at an all-time high, and Dublin was at the center of the country’s industrial and political activity, particularly the push for independence from Great Britain. James Joyce published this collection in 1914, shortly before the violent Irish War for Independence, which resulted in national sovereignty. The lives of the characters are intricately linked to the state of Ireland as a relatively poor nation with an uncertain political future. Because of a struggling economy, many Dubliners are caught in cycles of abuse, poverty, and alcoholism, perpetuated by other cultural characteristics, such as class stratification and religious stagnancy. Further, just as Ireland was torn between seeking independence from England and requiring its aid, many characters claim nationalism, but seek validation from the United Kingdom and Continental Europe, often to their detriment.