A Second Look at “Ivy Day in the Committee Room.”
When Professor Simpson handed out the packet for Dubliners, I was hoping he hadn’t picked “Ivy Day.” Now, I read all of Dubliners this summer more as a beach read than as an intellectual pursuit and “Ivy Day” is the only one I could pick out as the end and say “Now that one… THAT one I really didn’t like.” For all the rest I felt a mild indifference. On my second reading I hoped my opinion would be less trivial. It is, but not by much.
Instead, I now have a list of ideas I thought may have been important to Joyce as he wrote the short story, but the politics he refers to mean almost nothing to me. I kept trying to put the candidates mentioned in the story within the context of the recent elections…(recent to me because I seldom follow politics/news/tv and so I still have the BIG election on my mind) but without any idea of the historical context Joyce was writing in I CAN’T.
Now for the concepts I think Joyce was toying with:
- Loyalty vs. Treachery
- Need (in regards to monetary wealth)
- Work Satisfaction?
I also noticed, and this carries through Dubliners, that Joyce likes people’s faces and will only mention one or two aspects of the face that are particularily revolting or nauseating.
I’m not sure to what end this all amounts, but it got me on a more positive plane with Joyce’s short stories.