Lesson Six

Part I: Kincaid's "Girl"

Pre-reading question:

1) Look carefully at the sentence structure in the story. How do you think this adds to the overall impact of the contents?
2) Who are the two characters in the story?
3) In many ways, this isn't a traditional short story. What elements of the short story appear to be missing? Do you think that this missing material is necessary or is it supplied in other ways? Explain.

Post-reading questions:

1) Who is the girl? What do we know about her? What do you imagine her feelings are when she listens to this litany?
2) What is the relationship like between the two characters in the story? Explain.
3) What kind of things does it seem like a girl needs to know? Although this list seems to be specific to a certain culture do you see parallels with your own culture?
4) What is the main speaker's main fear for the girl? Why do you think these fears are paramount?

Part II: Joyce's "Eveline"

Pre-reading question:

1) Vocabulary to check before you read: cretonne, harmonium, palpitations, latterly, squabble, squander, courting, lass, anguish.
2) Do we ever see Eveline experiencing an epiphany? If so, where?

Post-reading questions:

1) Describe the physical setting of Eveline's home. How does she feel about living at home? How do we know what we know?
2) How does Joyce immediately tell us that this is a Roman Catholic home?
3) What sort of relationship does Eveline have with her father? Describe the range of her feelings toward him. Does this remind you of any other father-child relationships we've seen so far?
4) When Eveline thinks of her mother, she wants to escape. Why might this be?
5) Why do you think Eveline doesn't go to Buenos Aires with Frank?
6) What associations do you have about Buenos Aires? Do you think Joyce would have had similar associations? What symbolic value does the city have in the story?
7) One of the songs of The Bohemian Girl is titled "Tis Sad to Leave our Fatherland" and contains these verses: "Without/friends, and without a home, my country, too! Yes, I'm exiled from thee; what/fate, what fate awaits me here, now! Pity, Heav'n! oh calm my despair!" How might these lines underscore Eveline's emotional turmoil?

Related Links:

A very thorough biography: http://voices.cla.umn.edu/authors/jamaicakincaid.html#Biography

Mother Jones interview: http://www.mojones.com/mother_jones/SO97/snell.html

Salon interview http://www.salon.com/05/features/kincaid.html

Emory University's JK page: http://www.emory.edu/ENGLISH/Bahri/Kincaid.html

A James Joyce website

International James Joyce Foundation homepage:

The James Joyce Center, Dublin, Ireland: http://www.jamesjoyce.ie/

A list of websites of interest to Joyceans and others!

A Joycean multimedia gallery: http://www.2street.com/joyce/gallery/index.html

The Brazen Head, a large website on Joyce http://www.themodernword.com/joyce/

Twelve Promises Made to Margaret Mary Alacoque: http://www.dailycatholic.org/issue/2002Sum/promises.htm

Lesson Starts!