The Boarding House - James Joyce

Topics: Marriage, Short story, Wife Pages: 1 (309 words) Published: November 6, 2012
The Boarding House
In the short story ”The Boarding House” we meet a lady called Mrs. Mooney, whose daughter, Polly, has started a relationship with one of the staying guests, Mr. Doran. When she finds out she commands Mr. Doran to marry Polly. What will his answer be and can Mrs. Mooney demand Mr. Doran to take Polly to wife. On the outside Mrs. Mooney is a big imposing woman and she owns the boarding house. The guests refer to her as “The Madam”.

Mrs. Mooney doesn’t care whether Mr. Doran and Polly love each other. Love is not a topic In "The Boarding House”. It is certainly not love that comes first, when choosing a partner. In Polly's case, it is a matter of honor, whether she is getting married or not. Although we are not directly told that Mr. Doran chooses to marry Polly, we do get an indication of the end of the story. “‘Polly!’ Polly!’

‘Yes, mamma?”
‘Come Down, dear. Mr. Doran wants to speak to you.’
Then she remembered what she had been waiting for. ( Quote page 75) Prior to this, Mrs. Mooney has presented her suggestion to Mr. Doran about marriage with Polly. Mrs. Mooney does this because of honor. Pollys actions reflects on Mrs. Mooney and she has her business to take care of. Mrs. Mooney has been in the same position in her life. She was married to a butcher, who was supposed to take over her father’s business. She is divorced from the butcher and starts her own business. Mrs. Mooney is also interested in Mr. Doran’s money, so she sends Polly to get Mr. Doran on the hook. Here after she uses her authority and force Mr. Doran to marry Polly. This shows us that Mrs. Mooney is a strong woman even though Ireland is a Patriotic society.
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