“The Sisters” narrator - The reserved and contemplative boy who deals with the death of his friend, Father Flynn. The narrator avoids showing outward emotions to his family members, but he devotes his thoughts to the priest’s memory. Others in the story see the narrator’s relationship with the priest as inappropriate and exploitative, and the narrator himself seems unsure of what the priest meant to him. Father Flynn - The priest who dies in “The Sisters.” Father Flynn’s ambiguous presence in the story as a potential child molester initiates a book-long critique of religious leaders, consistently portraying them as incompetent. Old Cotter - The family friend in “The Sisters” who informs the narrator of Father Flynn’s death. Old Cotter voices concern about the priest’s intentions with the narrator, but he avoids making any direct statements. “An Encounter”
“An Encounter” narrator - The young boy who endures an awkward conversation with a perverted old man while skipping school. Bored with the drudgery of lessons, the narrator dreams of escape. When imaginary games fail to fulfill his yearning for adventure, he embarks on a real one with his friend Mahony by skipping school and spending the day in Dublin, only to encounter fear. “Araby”
“Araby” narrator - The amorous boy who devotes himself to his neighbor Mangan’s sister. Images and thoughts of the girl subsume the narrator’s days, but when he finally speaks to her it is brief and awkward. When Mangan’s sister tells the narrator about a bazaar called Araby, the narrator decides to go there and buy something for her. However, he arrives at the bazaar too late and buys nothing. The narrator illustrates the joys and frustrations of young love. His inability to pursue his desires angers him. Mangan’s sister - The love interest in “Araby.” Mangan’s sister mentions the Araby bazaar to the narrator, prompting him to travel there. She suggests the familiarity of Dublin, as well as the hope of love and the exotic appeal of new places. “Eveline”
Eveline - The protagonist of the story that shares her name. Eveline makes a bold and exciting decision to elope to Argentina with her lover, Frank, but ultimately shrinks away from it, excluding herself from love. Her constant review of the pros and cons of her decision demonstrates her willingness to please everyone but herself, and her final resolve to stay in Dublin with her family casts her as a woman trapped in domestic and familiar duties and afraid to embrace the unpredictable.
“After the Race”
Jimmy Doyle - The upwardly mobile protagonist of “After the Race.” Infatuated with the prestige of his friends and giddy about his inclusion in such high-society circles, Jimmy conducts a life of facile whims and excessive expenditure.
“A Little Cloud”
Gallaher - Little Chandler’s old friend who visits Dublin in “A Little Cloud.” For Little Chandler, Gallaher represents all that is enticing and desirable: success in England, a writing career, foreign travel, and laid-back ease with women. His gruff manners and forthright behavior contrast with Little Chandler’s delicacy. Little Chandler - The unhappy and fastidious clerk who reunites with his friend Gallaher in “A Little Cloud.” Little Chandler’s physical attributes match his name—he is small, fragile, and delicately groomed. His tendency to suppress his poetic desires suggests that he also earns his title by living quietly and without passion. He fleetingly rebels against his domestic life after hearing about Gallaher’s exciting life, then shamefully re-embraces it. “A Painful Case”
Mr. Duffy - A solitary and obsessive man who eschews intimacy with Mrs. Sinico in “A Painful Case.” Disdainful of excess and tightly self-regulated, Mr. Duffy lives according to mundane routine, and when a relationship evolves beyond his comfort level, he squelches it. His remorse over Mrs. Sinico’s death makes him realize that his pursuit of order and control has...