A young unnamed boy, who developed a touching friendship with the old dead priest. He is an intelligent, well-behaved, and impressionable young boy. He is emotionally honest. Towards the end of the story, he withdraws more and more from the narrative, leaving the readers to draw their own conclusions.
Dead near the beginning of the story. Father Flynn acted as something of a mentor to the Narrator. He has ended his days in madness and paralysis.
the Narrator's Uncle and Aunt
The narrator of "The Sisters" lives with his uncle and aunt. His aunt brings him to Father Flynn's wake.
An old, pipe-smoking friend of the narrator's uncle and aunt. He delivers the news that Father Flynn has died.
Nannie and Eliza
Father Flynn's two sisters. They are simple, poor old women, and they blame his madness on his breaking of the chalice used for mass.
the Narrator (An Encounter)
A young unnamed boy, more sensitive and gentle than his classmates. He longs for adventure, and decides to play hooky one day to look for it. Instead, he and Mahony find a creepy old man with a liking for whipping boys.
An older boy who introduces the boys to the Old West. He organizes the boys into rival tribes for games of Cowboys and Indians.
Joe Dillon's younger brother. He plans to play hooky with the narrator and Mahony, but backs out.
A schoolmate of the narrator. The two boys go out seeking adventure in Dublin. Mahony is much rougher than the narrator, and seems to enjoy bulling smaller children and animals.
A creepy old man, who seems to relish the thought of whipping young boys.
the Narrator (Araby)
A presumably teenage boy, in the throes of his first crush. He hopes to purchase a suitable gift for his girl at Araby, a pseudo-Oriental bazaar.
Uncle and Aunt
The narrator is raised by his uncle and aunt. The night of the bazaar, the narrator's uncle is late getting home, and so the narrator only gets to the bazaar as it closes.
The narrator's neighbor and friend.
The object of the boy's crush.
A young girl of nineteen. She has been burdened with care of her younger siblings and father, who mistreats her. She works hard and is very poor. But a marriage with Frank promises a way out for her.
She died years ago, but her memory is still vivid for Eveline. She lived a life of small sacrifices, and died a babbling madwoman.
He forces Eveline to work, and takes all her wages. He does not beat her, though he often threatens her. He accuses her of being a spendthrift, when her efforts are enabling their family's survival.
Eveline has both older brothers and younger siblings. The older brothers are dead or far from Dublin, and the younger siblings are in her care.
Eveline's beloved, who has asked to marry her. He has a home in Buenos Ayres, and he wants her to come with him.
The son of a wealthy nouveau riche Irish merchant, Jimmy has spent a short time at Cambridge. He is a bit of a dilettante, and his parents are social climbers.
A very wealthy young Frenchman whom Doyle met at Cambridge. He is the leader of his little pack of friends.
A Hungarian whom Doyle knows from Cambridge. He is a good pianist, and he is quite poor.
A French-Canadian mechanic. He is charming and capable, and enjoys talking about engines.
Jimmy's father (and mother)
Jimmy's father is a wealthy merchant. His parents have tried to make sure that Jimmy has everything money can buy, including high social standing.
An Englishman and friend of Ségouin. At dinner, he and Jimmy get in a bit of an argument about Irish sovereignty.
A rich American with a yacht, and a friend of Ségouin.
An ugly, unscrupulous man carrying on a relationship with a "slavey" or housemaid. He plans to get her into bed and con her out of some money while he's at it.
Corley's ugly sidekick. He spends much of the story alone reflecting on the unreliability of friendship and love, as well as his own lack of a future.
Corley's girl and victim, who supposedly makes her living as a "slavey," or house servant. Given that she is able to give Corley a guinea, she is probably also a prostitute.
The mistress of the boarding house. She sets a trap for Mr. Doran, so as to secure her daughter's future. She is strong-willed and manipulative.
A pretty young girl who helps around her mother's boarding house. She gets sexually involved with the slightly older Mr. Doran, and lets her mother take care of the rest.
Polly's tough brother, fond of drink and fighting. Mr. Doran is a bit afraid of him.
A man in his thirties with a position in a successful wine seller's company. His good job contributes to his fear of scandal, which makes it easy to manipulate him into marrying Polly.
Though not exceptionally short, Little Chandler gives the impression of being childlike and small. He works as a clerk and has vague poetic aspirations, but the demands of ordinary life make that dream impossible.
Chandler's friend from way back. He has relocated to London, and is in the midst of a successful career. He doesn't care much about Chandler.
Chandler's wife. She is a somewhat domineering woman.
Cries while Chandler tries to read some poetry. Chandler screams at the child, which terrifies him.
An alcoholic scrivener. He hates his job, but cannot afford to lose it. In the story, he spends an exorbitant sum on booze, but still ends the evening not drunk enough for his liking.
Farrington's tyrannical boss. He is a blustering old fool, and he makes Farrington's life miserable.
One of the workers.
The chief clerk at the office.
An important client, whom Mr. Alleyne seems to be sweet on. Farrington humiliates Mr. Allyene in front of her.
Nosey Flynne, O'Halloran, Callan, Paddy Leonard
Drinking buddies of Farrington's.
Another drinking buddy of Farrington's. He is a young man, but he beats Farrington in arm wrestling.
One of Farrington's young sons. He is touchingly attentive to his drunken father's needs, but in spite of the boy's filial piety, Farrington beats him mercilessly.
An older Catholic woman who works and lives at a Protestant charity. She is not one of the women who works there because they have fallen, but is rather a valued employee who supervises some of the operations. She is hardworking, simple, and generous.
One of the supervisors at the charity. She values Maria greatly.
Now a grown man with a family, in his childhood Maria was like a mother to him. He has had a falling-out with his brother, and the two never speak. He loves Maria dearly, and when she comes over to celebrate Hallowe'en with them, he treats her with great courtesy and respect.
The gentleman on the tram
He offers Maria his seat, though none of the other men do. He and Maria make small talk.
Joe's wife. She sharply tells the children that the clay, omen of death chosen by Maria during the divination game, is not an appropriate object for fun.
Mr. James Duffy
A middle-aged man working for a banking firm. He begins a sexless affair with Mrs. Sinico. He is a total hermit, living alone and not seeing friends or family. He realizes at the end of the tale that he is terribly lonely.
A middle-aged wife with a husband who is never home. She dies accidentally, hit by a tram. She may have been drunk. There are also hints that the incident might have been a suicide.
Mrs. Sinico's daughter. She reveals to the papers after Mrs. Sinico's death that Mrs. Sinico had taken to drink.
A merchant. He is always abroad, and pays little attention to his wife.
One of the canvassers for a Nationalist candidate named Richard Tierney. He is gruff and distrustful.
Another canvasser. He is far more generous in his evaluations of people than old Jack. Neither of them supports Tierney out of political conviction; they're canvassing for money.
Yet another canvasser for Tierney. He's more concerned about the promised free booze than the election's outcome.
A young and enthusiastic man who supports the nationalist cause. He recites a poem mourning Parnell's death.
A candidate who is a Nationalist, but a fiscal conservative. His politics are unthreatening, and do nothing to help the city's poor. Though he is not directly in the narrative, other character recount events involving him.
A priest who has been in trouble with the Church, possibly for his Nationalist sympathies, and possibly for being a drunkard.
The boy who delivers the beer. He has one with them, and then leaves.
A Conservative with a smugly superior attitude. He's only canvassing for Tierney because the Conservative candidate dropped out.
A domineering, petty woman, who stubbornly fights against any perceived slight against her daughter. Her insistence on receiving the contractually promised pay destroys her daughter's chances of playing again in Dublin.
Assistant secretary of the Eire Abu Society, which plans the performance in which Kathleen is the accompanist. He is the Society member who must deal with Mrs. Kearney in the weeks preceding the production and during the unpleasant performance nights.
Husband to Mrs. Kearney. He is much older than she, and generally goes along with her decisions. He is a dependable, quiet man.
Piano accompanist. A shy and kind-hearted girl, she has little say in her mother's decision about her musical career.
A board member of the Eire Abu society. He lets Mr. Holahan handle Mrs. Kearney.
Another board member. Mrs. Kearney meets her briefly, but does not deal with her.
A singer and a friend of Kathleen's. During the backstage battles between Mrs. Kearney and Mr. Holohan, she wishes she could join the side of the Society. But because she is Kathleen's friend, she finds herself trapped in Mrs. Kearney's camp.
One of the artistes. He sings bass.
One of the artistes. He sings second tenor, and is full of nervous jealousy of other tenors.
The baritone and the first tenor
These two male singers are the princes of the performance. They arrive together, and deal with others in a regal, aloof manner.
A soprano singer. Her performance is unpleasant.
A journalist for the Freeman. Due to other commitments, he is unable to attend the actual show.
Mr. O'Madden Burke
Mr. Hendrick's friend, a respected man-about-town and arts enthusiast. He condemns Mrs. Kearney's behavior, and predicts that Kathleen will never play again in Dublin.
An alcoholic. His situation has been one of rapid social decline, and his wife fears that he will hurt himself during one of his drunken spells. His friends pressure him into going on a spiritual retreat.
The police officer summoned at the start of the story to deal with Mr. Kernan, who has been knocked unconscious on the floor of the men's lavatory.
Young Man in a Cycling Suit
A young man who tends to the unconscious Mr. Kernan before his friends arrive.
Mr. Kernan's friend. He hatches a plot to cure Mr. Kernan's alcoholism.
Mr. Kernan's concerned wife. She fears he will make an end of himself while drunk.
The Kernan children
Their accents and manners surprise Mr. Power. The poor state of both show him that the Kernan's are a family in social decline.
One of Mr. Kernan's friends. He works for the British government in Ireland, and his occasional forays into philosophy and literature have made him the resident intellectual in his social circle. His opinion is widely respected.
One of Mr. Kernan's friends. He goes along with the plot to bring Mr. Kernan on retreat.
A generous shopkeeper. While Mr. Kernan is convalescing, Mr. Fogarty brings over some whisky.
The priest heading the retreat for businessmen. His sermon seems too easy, full of advice that is not in the least bit challenging to his listeners.
The older aunt, and hostess of the party. She still teaches music lessons from time to time. She has suffered some hearing loss.
The younger aunt, and hostess of the party. She has a beautiful singing voice, and she still teaches music lessons.
Niece to Aunt Julia and Aunt Kate. She was raised by them, and still lives in their old house. She works hard teaching music, and is now the great breadwinner of the household.
The well-educated favorite nephew of Aunt Julia and Aunt Kate. He is sensitive and earnest, and is the focus of the story.
Gabriel's wife. After hearing an old song, she cannot stop thinking of a boy she loved in her youth.
Another relation of Aunts Julia and Kate. He is a terrible drunkard, and the old spinsters rely on Gabriel to keep him under control.
Freddy's mother. She puts up with her son admirably.
A friend of Gabriel's. They have a very similar educational background. She is a supporter of the language movement, and has strong ideas about Irish cultural independence. She is intelligent and easy-going, but Gabriel takes her jibes badly.
An older man. He is gregarious and enjoys the company of the ladies.
Mr. Bartell D'Arcy
A singer. His song reminds Gretta of her childhood sweetheart.
Dubliners Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for Dubliners is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.
Gabriel reflects on mortality and the passage of life. He feels the shadow of mortality on all of them. Outside, it snows. As it blankets all things without discrimination, it reminds Gabriel of mortality: "His soul swooned slowly as he heard the...
Gabriel tells this story. The horse had worked in a mill. Patrick had taken the horse out for military review but the horse just kept walking in circles around a statue of King William III (a British king who defeated the Irish). This might...