Ivy Day in the Committee Room (Joyce)

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Ivy Day in the Committee Room
Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: A group of men gather in a committee room on Ivy Day to discuss politics and the upcoming election, sharing their frustrations and hopes for a better future.

In a committee room, an old man named Jack is tending to a fire while a young man named Mr. O'Connor rolls a cigarette. They are waiting for Mr. Tierney to return. They discuss Mr. Tierney's son, who is causing trouble and drinking excessively. The old man expresses his frustration and wishes he could discipline his son.

Old Jack — caretaker; old, bony, and hairy; blue eyes, moist mouth.

Ah, yes, it's hard to know what way to bring up children. Now who'd think he'd turn out like that! I sent him to the Christian Brothers and I done what I could him, and there he goes boosing about. I tried to make him someway decent.

Mr. O'Connor sympathizes with him.

Mr. O'Connor — young man with blotches and pimples; grey-haired; meditative and forgetful.

Mr. Hynes enters the room and joins the conversation. They discuss Mr. Tierney's lack of payment and the upcoming municipal elections. They debate whether to welcome the King of England and discuss the death of Parnell. The conversation is interrupted by a boy delivering bottles of stout. They continue to talk and Mr. Hynes recites a poem about Parnell.

Mr. Hynes — tall, slender young man with a light brown mustache; snuffling nose; light blue eyes.

He fell as fall the mighty ones, Nobly undaunted to the last, And death has now united him With Erin's heroes of the past.

The others applaud and drink in silence. Mr. Hynes remains seated, seemingly unaware of the applause. The men discuss the poem and admire its writing.