The Dublin Experience
Before the trip, we did a tremendous amount of research about Ireland, to further understand this country’s history and culture. One assignment we had was to read the collection of short stories titled Dubliners by James Joyce. This assignment proved to be very useful upon arriving in Ireland because of the image that it presented to us about the city of Dublin. In particular, the story “Grace,” gave an accurate image of Ireland. In this story, a young man has an alcohol problem, in which his friends d
esperately want to help him through his problem. What I found resonated well and true with contemporary Dublin was the sense of comradery. I got a great sense of support from the Dubliners for Dubliners. The sense that everyone is looking out for each other was something that I felt a strong presence of. Another story that presented an image of Dublin that was contrary to what I experienced was in “A Little Cloud.” This story makes it seem as if the only way to survive and make a substantial living is by leaving Dublin. It describes the city in a very desolate way, which is the exact opposite of the Dublin I experienced.
Various newspaper articles were also presented to the class about things happening in Ireland. Throughout the trip I would constantly find examples of these articles. The first major example would be the article presented about the wind turbines. The article talks about how the United Kingdom has installed wind turbines in Ireland. All throughout the countryside of both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland there would be wind turbines providing energy for the citizens of the island. Another article we learned about was how some restaurants were serving horse meet instead of actually beef. I would constantly find signs in restaurant windows saying that the horse meet problem had been taken care of. Finally, an article that we learned about was how women were being forced to live and work in these laundries if they were found to have been working as a prostitute or conceiving a child out of wedlock. Our tour guide, Brian, told us all about these laundries, which was interesting due to this perspective, was coming directly from a citizen of Ireland.