Joyce writes of Dubliners:
"My intention was to write a chapter of the moral history of my country, and I chose Dublin for the scene because that city seemed to me the centre of paralysis. I have tried to present it to the indifferent public under four of its aspects: childhood, adolescence, maturity, and public life. The stories are arranged in this order. I have written it for the most part in a style of scrupulous meanness and with the conviction that he is a very bold man who dares to alter in the presentment, still more to deform, whatever he has seen and heard."
(from Herbert Gorman, James Joyce, New York, 1940, V-iv.)

Joyce's role as recorder of the city develops the style in which Dubliners is written. He adopts an attitude of "scrupulous meanness" toward his characters, in which Joyce balances sympathy and objectivity. This balance exhibits both factual information and sympathetic understanding of characters. Evidence of this style lies in Joyce's tongue-in-cheek objectivity, subtle comment, careful crafting of tone and images, and demonstration of conflict in characters' intentions and actions.
Choose one of the following assignments to demonstrate your understanding of Joyce's "scrupulous meannes". Post your response on the corresponding page.
• Develop a "scrupulously mean" character portraits of people from your own lives. Take extreme care in selecting people for your character portraits in order to maintain the balance between realistic objectivity and sympathetic understanding. Even more challenging would be a character portrait of yourself.
• You may draw or paint a portrait that accomplishes the same objective as their written piece. You'll need to present this in class.
• Students may create a dramatic monologue which develops a realistic character using the concept of "scrupulous meanness." In preparing this monologue, students should consider elements such as costume, voice quality, and physical presence which will contribute to character development as well as to the presentation's dramatic quality.

Now, read and annotate the following stories:
"After the Race"
"Two Gallants"
"The Boarding House"