Grace (Joyce)

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Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: Two gentlemen help a man who has fallen down the stairs in a bar, and later they all attend a religious retreat together.

Two gentlemen find a man lying unconscious at the bottom of a flight of stairs in a bar. They carry him upstairs and lay him on the floor. A crowd gathers around him, and the manager of the bar calls for a policeman. The injured man wakes up briefly and is helped to his feet. The manager asks him who he is and where he lives, but the man doesn't answer. Another gentleman arrives and offers to take the injured man home. They leave together in a car.

Mr. Kernan — middle-aged man; injured in a fall; stubborn, proud.

The next day, the injured man's friends visit him in the hospital and invite him to join them on a retreat. He agrees to go, but refuses to participate in the candle lighting ceremony.

I bar the candles!

The story ends with a sermon about the importance of being honest with oneself and with God.

Mr. Power — friend of Mr. Kernan; works in the Royal Irish Constabulary Office; debonair, helpful.
Mr. Cunningham — friend of Mr. Kernan; elder colleague of Mr. Power; influential, intelligent.

During a conversation with his friends, Mr. Kernan expresses his admiration for the Jesuits.

The Jesuits are a fine body of men.

Mr. Power announces their plan to attend a religious retreat and confess their sins, acknowledging that they all need it badly.