Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on James Joyce's After the Race. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
After the Race: Introduction
After the Race: Plot Summary
After the Race: Detailed Summary & Analysis
After the Race: Themes
After the Race: Quotes
After the Race: Characters
After the Race: Symbols
After the Race: Theme Wheel
Brief Biography of James Joyce
Historical Context of After the Race
Other Books Related to After the Race
- Full Title: After the Race
- When Written: 1904
- Where Written: Dublin, Ireland
- When Published: First published as a standalone story in a weekly publication called The Irish Homestead in December 1904. It was also part of James Joyce’s short story collection Dubliners, which was published in 1914.
- Literary Period: Modernism
- Genre: Short story, Realism
- Setting: Dublin, Ireland
- Climax: When the card game finishes, leaving Jimmy Doyle a loser and significantly indebted to his companions
- Antagonist: Although the Englishman Routh sometimes plays the role of antagonist (as during the political argument at dinner, or in the card game that he wins at Jimmy’s expense), Jimmy’s own poor decisions and inaction are the more accurate antagonists.
- Point of View: Third person primarily limited to Jimmy Doyle’s consciousness, although there are instances when this third person narrator is omniscient and describes other characters’ inner thoughts and feelings as well.
Extra Credit for After the Race
Setting the scene. In April of 1903, a year before he would return to Dublin to be with his dying mother, James Joyce interviewed a French race-car driver for the periodical The Irish Times. This driver, named Henri Fournier, was supposed to participate in the Gordon-Bennett automobile race that would take place in Ireland in July of 1903. Although Fournier did not end up participating after all, Joyce made the most of this exchange, and used the race as the setting for his story “After the Race.”
Socialist sympathies. Capitalism and its effects are a central subject in “After the Race.” Given the anti-capitalist sentiment in the story, it is not surprising that James Joyce maintained an interest in socialism throughout his life. While living in Dublin, he was earnestly involved in socialist organizations. After becoming disillusioned with the internal fights among socialists that blocked significant progress, his active participation waned. Nonetheless, his socialist sympathies remained throughout his life, and were frequently explored in his writing.