Mapping Dubliners

Mapping James Joyce's Dubliners
Brooke Boutwell, Miranda Dabney, Justin Moore


“An Encounter”, “After the Race”, “Two Gallants”, “A Little Cloud”, “Counterparts”, and “Grace” are the stories that we have chosen to map and analyze in comparison to “Araby”, which we mapped in class. We selected these six stories because these stories mention very specific locations and routes that were either walked or driven by the characters and would be the easiest to map. Other stories in Dubliners contain locations, but they were either not as specific as the stories we selected or their locations were not in Dublin. Many Dubliners stories mention various locations in Europe, or allude to many foreign places. We chose not to include these stories and rather focus on the Dublin-centralized maps created from these short stories. Brooke will be mapping and discussing “An Encounter” and “Grace”, Justin’s maps will be of “After the Race” and “Counterparts”, and Miranda will be analyzing “Two Gallants” and “A Little Cloud”. While our work is collaborative, each of us will be taking our own creative approaches to our evaluations of Dubliners. Each of us will be analyzing different aspects of our maps and using those analyses to discuss our selected stories. We will be using each other’s maps and discoveries to further understand our own maps and to analyze our selections from Dubliners as a whole in addition to analyzing them as individual stories.

Justin’s Methodology

Within the context of the mapping project, each of us took it upon ourselves to map two stories that could later be compiled and compared. The stories that I was given to map were “After the Race” and “Counterparts.”

My approach to mapping these two stories differed slightly from that of my partners. I attempted to provide the most realistic recreation of each journey by signifying what mode of transportation the characters used at any given point of the story. This means that, in each of my maps, there are car routes, walking routes, highlighted train routes, and even a boat! I think it is important to note not only where the characters traveled during the course of a story but also how they traveled.

This actually lead me to discover how to interpret the text via mapping by allowing me to formulate what I will be referring to as active and passive traveling. This terminology of travel refers to the interaction between the mode of transportation used by the character and the function of stream of consciousness within the narrative. By investigating this interaction, I wanted to see if a character’s thoughts and feelings were presented more in depth—implying more mental activity—when they were traveling actively (walking or driving) or traveling passively (riding in a car or train). This relationship is further explored discussed in the section entitled “Interpretation and Analysis.”

It is important to note that, as stated in our “Collective Methodology” summary, we each used one another’s maps and stories to as resources for our own interpretation. As a result, my work and is not confined to these two stories, but rather it seeks to explore The Dubliners as more complete work. That being said, my interpretation applies not only to “After the Race” and “Counterparts,” but to Joyce’s work as a whole.

Miranda's Methodology

For our project, Brooke Boutwell, Justin Moore and I will be using maps to analyze selected stories from James Joyce’s Dubliners. The maps I have created are based off of James Joyce’s short stories “Two Gallants” and “A Little Cloud”. Both stories take place in a similar part of Dublin. In “A Little Cloud”, I have mapped not only the routes walked by the main character, but also the foreign locations mentioned. The significance of the number of times Paris and London are mentioned mirrors the significance that the two cities hold in the mind of the main character, Little Chandler. The reason I give for including the foreign locations is because of their relevance to the text and what they signify within the story, which I will discuss with my analysis of “A Little Cloud”. In “Two Gallants”, I have mapped the longer, circuitous route that the main characters Corley and Lenehan during dialogue of the story. These stories were chosen because they contained specific locations that would be easy to map using Google maps. Not only are they easily mapped, but the locations, once mapped, provide another angle with which to analyze Joyce’s work that you cannot get simply from reading the story.

Brooke's Methodology

For my final project, I chose to map stories from the Dubliners by James Joyce along with Justin Moore and Miranda Dabney. We chose to examine six stories from the Dubliners, and for my work, I closely mapped “Grace” and “The Encounter”. I wanted to look closely at how all six stories interacted with one another. I also wanted to observe how these stories and the rest of Dubliners coincide with Joyce’s real life in Dublin. I mapped the locations in the two stories in the order in which they appeared. I also noted the differences in the manner in which transportation happened in the stories. For instance, if the characters walked a route, I noted that and if they drove a route, I noted that. This method hopefully led to a greater authenticity and understanding of the works.

Maps and Analysis


After the Race

“After the Race”

“After the Race” takes place over the course of one afternoon/evening and night. The characters begin to the west of Dublin, driving east into the heart of the city. They have their dinner somewhere around central Dublin before beginning their stroll at Stephen’s Green. From there, they continue to travel east where they board the yacht and finish the story.

It is interesting to not the pattern of travel within the context of theme in the story. One theme to analyze is wealth. Wealth coincides with the map in terms of location. The story begins in a flashy car. The dinner scene takes place at Segouin’s hotel. Finally, they end up on Farley’s yacht. Each of these locations becomes more elaborate and expensive. As Jimmy becomes more caught up in wealth and opulence, the level of wealth and opulence he experiences increases.

A second theme to explore is that of time. Like any Joyce work, there is a moment of epiphany in which the protagonist—Jimmy—realizes the gravity of his current situation (that he is losing all of his money playing a game yet refusing to stop). He realizes that he will regret his actions and decisions “tomorrow.” The irony of this epiphany is that it occurs at daybreak, when “tomorrow” has already come. Yet this is not too surprising when examining his route of travel. The characters’ journeys progress from west to east. By heading east, they are heading straight toward the inevitable “tomorrow.”

A third theme in the story is fantasy. Fantasy, in this instance, refers to the simple dissociation from reality. For Jimmy, this fantasy is his constant desire for wealth and status. He becomes enveloped in this desire to the point where he loses touch with reality as is demonstrated by his gambling problem. The way that fantasy coincides with mapping is the inclusion of the yacht. Because the yacht is at sea, it is automatically separated from the city of Dublin; it is detached from Jimmy’s life and reality; it is an alternate reality of sorts, isolated an all sides by water. In a sense, the yacht is the physical manifestation of fantasy within the story. It is no coincidence that the final leg of the journey (from Stephen’s Green to the yacht) is such a long distance—Jimmy has to travel away from his reality.

In conclusion, it is interesting to see themes represented by a physical map. Just as human experience is inextricably linked to the environments in which it occurs, so do the themes of the story connect to the setting in which the plot takes place.



While mapping “Counterparts” I was quite surprised at the number of location changes throughout the story. The story begins at Farrington’s office and remains there for quite some time. While at work, Farrington is constantly dreaming of other places he would rather be—specifically out drinking with his friends.

This initial restlessness serves to set up the traveling that occurs later in the story. Interestingly, with this foundation, Farrington’s travels seem less like journeying and more like wandering. This is reinforced by the fact that, for the most part, there is no clear path in the men’s traveling. For instance, the begin north near the River Liffey, then travel south towards Stephen’s Green. Rather than continuing south, they travel back up north—likely traveling along the same path they took to get there—in order to go back up to the bank of the river. There really is no pattern or path.

Even throughout the remainder of the story, Farrington never seems satisfied with his current location, and he and the men are continually thinking of new places to experience. This theme of discontentment pervades the story and shows itself quite clearly on the map. With this in mind, it often seems like the men aren’t heading towards something, but instead they are running away. This proverbial desire to escape indicates that these men are too lost in their routine and uninteresting lives.

I was very interested in the scene in which Farrington stands near the O’Connell Bridge waiting for the tram to take him home. When I read Crime and Punishment, I remembered that bridges often held a lot of symbolic significance, so my interest in this bridge was immediately peaked. Bridges often serve as a symbolic transition—a connection between the current and the distant. I wanted to see if this held true in Joyce’s writing as well.

Doing a little research, I found that the bridge was constructed in order to fix traffic congestion. Because it is so heavily trafficked, it is the only bridge in Europe that is wider than it is long. I thought this served as an interesting metaphor for a life transition. For instance, Farrington’s life seems very busy and tedious, yet very dull and void of excitement. Like the bridge, his life feels short; it is a straight path as plows forward through his routine. Also like the bridge, his life is congested; it is full of work and responsibility. At this waiting scene, I was very curious to know what would have happened if Farrington had crossed the bridge (both on a literal and symbolic level). However, he boards the tram and travels home.

When he gets home, he finally loses it. He goes into a rage and begins to beat his son. I think that this moment occurs because, after his efforts to escape his life by his aimless wandering and drinking, he ultimately realizes that he is trapped in his life. His home and his office are two cages between which he travels daily. Because he can’t get out, he lashes out on his children. Because this takes place at his home, it can be assumed that this is not an isolated occurrence.

In this story, there is less connection between the epiphany and location (as seen in “After the Race”), but there is a stronger parallel between the characters’ physical location and mental and emotional state.


By mapping the various stories from James Joyce’s The Dubliners, I was very interested in observing how the characters’ thoughts, feelings, and ideas interacted with their physical movement. In each story, I felt that I was able to do a good job studying this interaction in terms of each individual character. I wanted to zoom out, however, and see how Joyce used the location changes—the physical activity of the story—to interact with the stream of conscious narrative in which Joyce writes.

I started to notice that, in some instances, Joyce will provide a long train of thoughts in which a character’s mind wanders from topic to topic over the course of nearly a page. However, in all of this wondering, the character may have traveled only one block. In contrast, Joyce may give one sentence to fill the time in which it takes the character to traverse Dublin. I began to question if there is particular pattern to this mental activity.

This led me to look at the way in which the character is traveling. To get across Dublin, a character has a couple options. He may use a train, like the boy in “Araby”, or he may take a car, like the men in “After the Race.” In other instances, he might choose the tram, such as is the case in “Counterparts.” Most characters, at one point or another, also travel on foot. Across these modes of transportation, I saw that there are two general categories.

One category I call active traveling. This refers to any traveling in which the character is in direct control of his travel; he controls the destination, the route, the speed, etc. Active traveling includes walking and driving a car. This differs from passive traveling in that, in passive traveling, the character is merely along for the ride. Passive transportation includes riding in a car (being driven), taking a train, or taking a tram. In these modes of transportation, the character does not exercise control over the journey. The destination, the route, and the speed of travel are all predetermined.

Actually determining these patterns proved a little more difficult than I expected. In the opening of “After the Race,” there is a great deal of narration that occurs during the drive. In fact, there are five entire paragraphs of exposition that occur during the drive of about two miles. This passive traveling provides ample opportunity for the characters’ thoughts to roam, and for Joyce to use this dead time to explore their minds rather than their actions. In contrast, later in the same story, the crew takes a train ride that lasts almost 6 miles, yet this journey is described in one sentence. In this story, at least, there was very little consistency in the modes of travel and narration.

In “Counterparts,” the pattern is just as sporadic. When the men walk around, there is a good deal of description given as to their walking. However, these descriptions are less relevant to their thoughts and emotions and more concerned with their actual movement. Similarly, when Farrington takes the tram home, the entire journey begins and ends in one sentence.

All in all, I did not get as much out of my transportation theory as I expected to. The maps for these two stories were simply too inconsistent to demonstrate a correlation between the mode of transportation and the stream of consciousness. However, I did get so much more than I expected out of the maps in regard to theme.


A Little Cloud

In “A Little Cloud”, the main character Chandler, referred to throughout the story as Little Chandler, meets up with an old friend for the first time in years. The conversation the two men have set some very clear differences between them. His friend Gallaher drinks a lot, has explored the world and has a job that opens up worlds of opportunities and adventures for him as a journalist. On the opposite hand, Little Chandler has never left Dublin, has settled down and started a family, does not drink very much, if at all, and leads a very boring life in comparison. Gallaher and Little Chandler talk about all of Gallaher’s adventures, the many cities he has explored and the very different nature of his life than it was eight years previously. Gallaher references Paris and London as the places holding the most debauchery and excitement in his life, the kind of adventures that he encourages Little Chandler to pursue. Little Chandler ends up drinking a lot more than he originally intended due to peer pressure from Gallaher. He ponders the many possible reasons why Gallaher’s life had turned out so much different, and in his opinion, better than his own. When Little Chandler is back home, pieces of his conversation with Gallaher make him think hard about his current situation in life and even make him question why he married his wife. The story ends with Little Chandler attempting, and failing, to calm his son down when he was crying, which makes his wife angry.

While mapping the locations in this short story, I found that Paris and London were mentioned multiple times, and it stood out to me so much, that I decided to track the number of uses of each word. London was mentioned 11 times and Paris 10 times. In comparison to the number of times Dublin was mentioned, 4, this signifies the relation that Little Chandler sees between boring Dublin and the exciting world of Gallaher’s Paris and London. Gallaher refers to Paris and London as places full of excitement and opportunity not available at home in Dublin. The numerous mentions of those foreign cities signify their relative importance over Dublin in the mind of Gallaher, a thought that Gallaher has managed to implant in Little Chandler’s head. Little Chandler relates Gallaher’s success in life to the amount of places he’s traveled and experiences he’s had around the world. Little Chandler wonders whether his choice to stay in Dublin his whole life has affected his life experiences and lack of success as compared to Gallaher.

Mapping “A Little Cloud” using Google maps provides a lot of insight on the story and perspective not available simply by reading the texts. Joyce’s use of real locations and routes in Dublin add a level of reality to the stories that fictional locations do not have. This added reality, though the stories and characters themselves are fictional, provides a connection to the story. The path Little Chandler takes is rather small compared to the other Dubliners journeys. His path is also small compared to the journey that he takes in his mind. Little Chandler’s conversations with Gallaher makes him think back on the many things that have happened – or not happened – in his life since Gallaher left eight years previous. The shorter route represents the lack of adventure and travel that Little Chandler has had in his life as opposed to the massive amount of traveling that Gallaher has experienced. Gallaher has traveled the world; mapping out the locations that he has been to traverses most of Europe. This represents the excess of experiences and adventure that Gallaher holds over Little Chandler. The maps add a physical layer to the story, a visual on what is happening both in the story and in the minds of the characters.

“A Little Cloud”, although the physical path is shorter than its other Dubliners counterparts, has a significantly large internal journey for Little Chandler. The map allows for interpretation of that journey as compared to his shorter walking path. Little Chandler has a huge mental adventure between the opening of the story and the closing. The ending of the story goes to show even further that Little Chandler was a different person because of his internal journey. When he is home and fails to console his child, it shows how he is not in control of his life anymore, how his choice to stay in Dublin and live a boring, generic life has taken away his control to travel and experience the world like Gallaher has.


In “Two Gallants”, two young gentlemen are walking around the streets of Dublin talking about girls. Corley and Lenehan are poor, crass men who use women to their advantage. Much of “Two Gallants” revolved around the two men discussing a date that Corley has with a maid later that night. The maid has been stealing things such as cigars from her employer’s house and the men are hoping that she will steal them money that night. Lenehan walks around Dublin while waiting for Corley to come back from his date, and the waiting somewhat drives him crazy thinking about whether or not Corley will betray their deal. When Corley is not back on time, Lenehan worries that Corley split with the money. Finally, Corley returns with the maid and Lenehan discovers that their plan successfully panned out. The maid had stolen a gold coin and gave it to Corley.

The title of the short story being “Two Gallants” adds a level of irony to the story, seeing as the two men are anything but gallant gentlemen. On a first read, the story is incredibly confusing. It took several reads and some assistance from the internet to understand exactly what was going on with Corley and Lenehan. The confusion and haziness of the narrative enhances the confusion and mystery of the plot to further show the shady and callous nature of the two “gallant” men. In addition, the reader is experiencing confusion while reading at the same time that Lenehan is experiencing confusion about Corley’s intentions and loyalty. “Two Gallants” is expertly written to keep the reader wondering exactly what is happening and why, and can only be fully interpreted upon multiple readings.

While mapping “Two Gallants”, I found that their walking path was very repetitive, even if not exactly the same roads. Lenehan and Corley’s journey, though a large portion of it is traveled by Lenehan alone, is circuitous. They travel around the same part of Dublin again and again, which represents their circuitous journey of beguiling a girl and getting her to steal for them until they find a new girl. The circles that they travel can also represent the circles that Lenehan’s mind travels in as he is anxiously awaiting Corley’s return with the money the latest lady has stolen for them. The friendship between the two men seems to be unusual. Corley is definitely the friend who holds the power, as he is the one who goes on the dates and receives the gifts from the women. Lenehan is more of a reserved and shy man, not handling to person-to-person relations with the women that Corley does. Their partnership is somewhat confusing, seeing as Corley could accomplish just as much and make double the profits without Lenehan to share them with.

The fact that Joyce mentions so many different locations helps to map the journey that Corley and Lenehan take. Within the story is another journey narrated by Corley as to a former date with the maid he is on his way to see. That journey takes place in many of the same streets that Corley and Lenehan traverse on their walk. I chose not to map this journey as it did not add much to the story as a whole other than as a previous date that Corley went on.

One aspect of the story that the maps contribute to is the vast amount of street covered by Corley and Lenehan on their walk. Their walk is a rather long one, several miles long. They walk this great length in the city alone at night, something that would not be commonplace in a modern city such as Dublin. Their path covers many miles and many areas of Dublin. This walk is representative of the time and thought spent on the men’s plans. They spend so much time working out their plans and putting them into action; it’s like the circuitous route they take in “Two Gallants”. It would be much less effort for them to get jobs that paid them well and legally rather than take the time to swindle the loose women into stealing them what they want. The two so-called gallant men are anything but gallant and their long-routed path to small riches is not worth the trouble compared to what they could legally accomplish in life with pure motivations and good intentions.


Joyce’s Dubliners seem to have the pattern of the characters traveling, with the patterns representing not only physical distance, but also representing milestones happening within the character’s minds. For example, in “Araby”, which was mapped in class, the young boy travels a ridiculously long way for nothing. He goes all the way to the Araby bazaar to realize that the trip was pointless. The physical path traveled represents the journey that the boy goes through in his head, finally coming to the realization that the girl he was making the trip for did not even matter to him by the time he got there. The rest of Joyce’s Dubliners are just like “Araby”, having great meaning behind the paths and the routes that his characters take throughout the stories. This can be seen in all of the Dubliners stories that I have mapped both the significance of the physical adventure and the internal one.


An Encounter

In “An Encounter”, young boys seeking greater adventure than their Wild West games, decide to skip school and go on a tour of North Dublin. This adventure is walked by the boys and includes watching different ships by The Wharf. The first location mentioned in this story is that of the church of the Dillon boys’ parents, which is on Gardiner Street. This location is only mentioned in the opening paragraph of the story, but it is later important in the analysis of the stories as a whole. The Catholic school that the boys attend together is never mentioned by name, but it can be assumed that it is near the church on Gardiner Street.

Fed up with the “weariness of school life”, the narrator devises a plan with Leo Dillon and Mahony. They each saved up a sixpence and planned to meet at the Canal Bridge at ten in the morning to begin their adventure. Leo did not show, therefore the two boys kept his sixpence and continued on their adventure without him. Their plan was to “go along Wharf Road until we came to the ships, then to cross in the ferryboat and walk out to see the Pigeon House.” Beginning from the Canal Bridge, they walked along North Strand Road until they reached a location called the Vitriol Works and then they turned right along the Wharf Road. At this point, the boys were harassed by some other young school boys, who assumed that they were Protestant. Without the help of the third boy, Leo, the two decided not to engaged the hecklers. At this point, they came near the river, and here they observed a largely industrialized area where different fleets were held. The two boys then cross the Liffey in a ferryboat After observing the boats for a tad longer, the boys decide that they are too tired to make it all the way to their destination of the Pigeon House. They are then engaged in conversation by a strange man and later, discuss that they will have to take the train home in order to make it back in time for no one to notice that they cut school. The story ends, however, before the train route is detailed.

The boys’ journey in “An Encounter” is a very active one. They are not simply thinking of the different locations, as is the case in other Dubliners works. The path they walked in North Dublin was fairly straightforward. It was, however, difficult to depict the ferryboat portion of the route. It was also difficult to line up the locations mentioned in the story with present day Dublin streets so I had to check several sources in order to map the boys’ route as best I could.


“Grace” is a much longer story than “An Encounter”. The story begins with an unconscious man in a central Dublin pub. The man has had too much to drink and has fallen down a flight of stairs. The man is resuscitated and his identity is learned to be Tom Kerman. A friend of his, Jack Powers, escorts him to a taxi and helps get him home. The name of the pub is not given, but it is said to be on Grafton Street. Once inside the taxi, they begin to drive toward Westmoreland Street, passing the Ballast Office. While in the car, the narrator describes the location of the two men’s workplaces. Kerman works in a little office on Crowe Street and Mr. Powers is said to work in the Royal Irish Constabulary Office in Dublin Castle. These two locations are passive in nature, as the characters in the story never actually go there, but they are important to note in understanding the context of the city.

The taxi then arrives at Mr. Kerman’s house on Glasnevin Road. He is aided by Mr. Powers into the house and we meet his wife and children. Mrs. Kerman admits that her husband has a drinking problem but is otherwise a good man. She mentions that he travels as far as Thomas Street in order to find work. From there, a plan is devised between Mr. Powers and Mrs. Kerman to aid Mr. Kerman in rediscovering religion and truly committing to the Catholic Church. With the help of Mr. Cunningham, Mr. M’Coy and Mr. Fogerty, They originally convince Tom into a sort of confessional setting at a place called M’Auley. There they plan to “make a retreat” “Jack and I and M’Coy here-we’re all going to wash the pot,” states Mr. Cunningham. Tom is then somewhat manipulated into attending the Jesuit church on Gardiner Street. This is incidentally the same church attended by the parents in “An Encounter” and is the only specific place where the two stories intersect.

When observing a map of all of the different locations in the Dubliners, it is clear that all occur within a small radius. Additionally, most of the places mentioned and all of the street names actually exist in the city of Dublin and can be easily mapped. These facts point to the influence of Joyce’s early life in Dublin on his work.

James Joyce, who is known by many as one of the greatest Irish authors of all time, was born in a suburb of Dublin in 1882. Joyce spent all of his early life in Dublin and graduated from the University of Dublin in 1902. Following his graduation, Joyce began a brief stint in medical school in Paris. However, when his mother was diagnosed with cancer, he returned to Dublin. Joyce’s mother was a devout Catholic and spent a great deal of time and energy trying to get him to return to the Catholic Church. Her efforts, however, were unsuccessful. It is intriguing then, that both “An Encounter” and specifically, “Grace” are centered around the Catholic Church on Gardiner Street. It appears that, although he did not acknowledge the Catholic Church in a spiritual manner, he was very interested in the influence that the church had on society.

Dubliners was published in 1914, a great deal of time after Joyce had left Dublin to live in various parts of Europe. Another of his famous works, Ulysses, was also based in Dublin and written after Dubliners. It is fascinating that Joyce spent the majority of his adult life away from the city of Dublin, yet all of his great works feature beautiful details of the city that could have only been written by someone who loved the city. Especially in Dubliners, Joyce describes Dublin with such a boyhood fondness that it is difficult to understand why he spent the majority of his adult life elsewhere.

Joyce clearly had as much effect on Dublin as it had on him. There is a James Joyce Centre located on 35 North Great George’s Street in Dublin. The Centre offers two different types of tours regarding the author. There is the Joyce Circular Tour, which takes visitors on a ninety minute walking tour of James Joyce’s life in Dublin. This tour begins and ends at the Joyce Centre and tours locations from several of Joyce’s stories, including Dubliners as well as one of the universities that Joyce attended. Additionally, there a is a second tour titled The Dubliners Tour. This tour focuses on the one singular work in a very unique way. The tour focuses on not only the places featured in the story, but how Joyce’s Dublin shaped the stories. It also allows tourists to observe the ways in which the city has commemorated Joyce and the effect to which he has, incidentally, shaped the city.

It is clear from Joyce’s works that there is often a beautiful relationship between an author and the cities that influence their work. His works not only lovingly detailed the streets, bridges and rivers he grew up with, but they engage the city in an almost conversational way. One feels as if they are walking with the narrator and Mahony as the explore North Dublin. The real-life details make a reader feel as if they are truly a part of the story and the city in which it is told. In “Grace”, one can imagine the taxi ride with Mr. Powers and Mr. Kerman as the Dublin whizzes by. It is an intimate, engaging experience that Joyce creates for his readers.

Consequently, Dublin has been shaped by Joyce as well. His beloved works have sparked a great tourism industry for the city as literary scholars and avid Joyce fans alike flock to the city in order to experience his works firsthand. Modern day Dublin as been shaped in a way as to honor and commemorate the famous author. His fictional works have thus shaped the present city creating a symbiotic relationship between the two that is wonderfully poetic. James Joyce would not be have been the famous author he was without the city of Dublin. Similarly, Dublin would not be the city it is today without James Joyce. Even he could not have written something so poetic.

Thanks for a great semester!