As we read Dubliners this week, ‘A Painful Case’ struck me the most. I wanted so badly to give Mr. Duffy a push and tell him to be with Mrs. Sinico, listen to his heart and don’t think about the other stuff. In an article on The Mapping of Dubliners Project, I found out about the meaning of the name behind the city, Chapelizod, where Mr. Duffy resides in and is the location of the pub he goes to after learning of Mrs. Sinico’s death. Going to the pub is out of his normal way, suggesting this change of routine and scenery allows Mr. Duffy to really face his emotions. Chapelizod also means ‘Iseult’s Chapel’, which is in reference to the love story between Isolde and Tristan. In the story, Isolde and Tristan fall in love with each other after drinking a love potion but Isolde is betrothed to Tristan’s uncle. When they are caught together, both tragically die. Although this is nothing like ‘A Painful Case’, the connotation of romance and emotion surrounding the pub may represent what drives Mr. Duffy out of his rigidity and lack of feeling. In a way, it seems like Mr. Duffy needed such a love potion in order to be freed from his tragic inability to truly feel and accept his emotions.
I also found a small video of the chapel, and in it a story is described of how from their graves there are two trees- honeysuckle and hazel- that grow to intertwine despite being cut down multiple times. I think it is a beautiful story and shows the romance embedded in the city that Mr. Duffy is tragically unable to fully embrace.