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"These stories are all about escape and how characters are unable to escape." In the light of this quotation, I am going to discuss Dubliners, with close detailed reference to two of the stories, "Eveline" and "The Boarding House."

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Introduction

Sachin Shah 5S2 GCSE: English and English Literature Coursework Dubliners "These stories are all about escape and how characters are unable to escape." In the light of this quotation, I am going to discuss Dubliners, with close detailed reference to two of the stories, "Eveline" and "The Boarding House." There are many similarities between these two stories, as well as contrasts. In "Eveline," her father is a drunkard and is also the head of the house, whereas in "The Boarding House," Polly's father, "was a shabby stooped little drunkard" who lives separated from his family. Polly's father has been cut-off from her life, and Eveline's mother is dead. The similarity here, is that each child has had one of their parent's cut off from a period of their life. Eveline wants to escape to Buenos Aires, to get away from her poverty in Dublin. Mr Doran wants to escape from the prospect of marriage. This brings us to one of the main points of the book, the characters inability to escape. Eveline has been given the chance to escape from her life, where "she had to work hard both in the house and at business." ...read more.

Middle

Both Frank and Mr Doran can be seen as saving the two girls from poverty. Mr Doran and Eveline are both described as helpless. Mr Doran himself says, "I felt helpless," while Eveline is described as "passive like a helpless animal." At the end of each story, an iron railing is mentioned. Eveline "gripped with both hands at the iron railings," using them as an anchor, preventing her from drowning into the seas of the world. The railings help Eveline think of thoughts which keep her from leaving. Polly uses the iron railings as an anchor to clear her thoughts. "There was no longer any perturbation visible on her face." Both Mr Doran and Eveline feel that it is their duty to stay and face the consequences. Mr Doran "longed to ascend through the roof and fly away... yet a force pushed him downstairs step by step." Eveline finds that she is paralysed by the needs of her father and her promise to her mother "to keep the home together as long as she could." "Eveline" starts a series of stories dealing with various kinds of marriage and courtship. ...read more.

Conclusion

Mrs Mooney manipulates the weaker Mr Doran, using his concern for his job and his fear of scandal. The story concludes with the fact that Mr Doran has spoken to Mrs Mooney and now wants to speak to Polly. This probably suggests a proposal of marriage, and the trap is implied in the final line: "Then she remembered what she had been waiting for." Marriage is the price which Doran must pay in order to keep his job, since "Dublin is such a small city: everyone knows everyone else's business" The stages-of-life structure continues in "Eveline". In previous stories like "The Sisters" and "Araby", children had been main characters. Eveline is an adult, a young woman old enough to get married. Joyce gives us the terrible poverty and pressure of her situation. The weight of poverty and family responsibilities bear down on this young woman heavily and her financial situation is far worse than that of the three boy narrators of the previous stories. She is trapped in an ugly situation, responsible for her siblings and the aging father who abuses her. In conclusion, it can be said that Joyce presents the themes of escape and paralysis in Dubliners. They show how Joyce sees the city of Dublin. ...read more.

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