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Commentary on The Boarding House.

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Commentary on The Boarding House The Boarding House is one of the short stories out of James Joyce's collection of Dubliners. In the work, Mrs. Mooney is a wife of an abusive butcher. Experiencing a unsuccessful marriage, she directs her attention to the boarding house and keeps a close eye on the men interacting with Polly, her daughter and keep her away form inferior men. She allows intimacy to develop between Polly and Mr. Doran. She then accused him of "taking advantage of Polly's youth and inexperience" and demands reparation. Mt Doran's fear of a sullied reputation forces him to accept the marriage. The three principal characters in The Boarding House are all constrained by social conventions. They all lack the power to govern their own lives. Mrs. Mooney marries a drunken husband who "fights with her in the presence of customers" (pg.53) ...read more.


(pg.56) Moreover, the church also weighs heavily upon his decision, constantly reminding him of the sin he has committed. Not only are Mrs. Mooney and Mr. Doran's lives being determined by religious aspects and social conventions, Polly also faces the same fate. Her life is pretty much predestined. She is a puppet being controlled and spied by her protective mother. She sends Polly "to be a typist in a corn factor's office," (pg.54) hoping that she will be wedded by some well off boss. However, her mission fails. Therefore, she takes Poilly to the boarding house, "giving her the run of the young man" (pg.54) and she weeds out candidates who do not mean business. These three principal characters are typical prototype of the people under the society of Dublin. It is ironic to end with the prospect of marriage as the scenario seems like a perfect setup for a comedy. ...read more.


All these images is a premonition of his downfall and reflect how short sighted he is not to observe the leverages being applied by astute Mrs. Mooney. Comparatively, Mrs. Mooney is unambiguous about her vision. She has explicit target to achieve and is aware of the affair escalating between Mr. Doran and her daughter though there is no "open complicity" and verbalization between them. Her decisive and imposing character is insinuates through her surveying of herself in the pier- glass, providing her with reliable images. "The decisive expression of her great florid face" (pg.56) signifies that "she is sure she will win." (pg.55) All in all, The Boarding House is about how Mrs. Mooney 's life is governed by the power of materialism and how she traps Mr. Doran into a dilemma and treats him as a means to get her daughter off her hands. She is focusing on her own interest and neglecting the feelings of Mr. Doran and her daughter, which is a typical product of the society of Dublin. Michelle Wong (13JN) 1 ...read more.

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