Management Notes

Reference Notes for Management

A Painful Case – Four Levels | Adventures in English II (Two)

james-joyceA Painful Case
Four Levels | Adventures In English Vol II
Management Notes

Unit : Six (Love)
Written By : James Joyce (2 February 1882 – 13 January 1941) was an Irish novelist and poet. He contributed to the modernist avant-garde, and is regarded as one of the most influential and important authors of the twentieth century.A Painful Case” is a short story by Irish author James Joyce, published in his 1914 collection Dubliners.

Literal comprehension:

“A Painful Case” is a beautifu story written by James Joyce.Mr. James Duffy, a middle aged bachelor lives an adventure less life in the beginning. But adventure comes when he meets Mrs. Emily Sinico by chance. They see each other at concert and make appointments and finally he visits her regularly at her home. Their friendship grows. He shares his intellectual life with her. She enjoys the break in her solitude (loneliness) but one night she makes the mistake of catching of his hand passionately and pressing it to her cheeks. He leaves her for ever. But four years later, Mr. Duffy reads in the paper of the lady’s death. She has been knocked down by a train in a state of intoxication (drunkenness). Mr. Duffy’s first reaction is one of hatred at such excessive drunkenness and of self-righteousness. On second thoughts however he feels uneasy and after a fit at self-pity realizes the burden of loneliness.


This story tells as about loveless. It describes two painful cases: a man who denies (say “No”) love and a woman vainly search for it. It also tells us about loneliness. Lonely people fail to communicate with each other. But they realize the value of love and companionship only when it is very late.

Critical Thinking:

The writer has presented the extra married love in this story and laughed at the main character because he refused such love. Living in the conservative Nepali society, we agree with James Duffy, not with the writer.

  • How can we accept the love between married woman and a bachelor?
  • Is Mr. Duffy a hero or a villain here?
  • Why Sinico’s husband didn’t interfere?
  • How such a moralist did realized his mistake?
  • How could he reel sorry for Mrs. Sinico?


When I read this story I have understood how some people think differently, behave differently.Some people are even distrustful to pure relationships.But I support her desire for friendship. Life is really lonely and hard to live if there is no one to love. In such a situation, one must have a friend. Otherwise, one become weak and starts drinking.


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