The Boarding House Who is a victim and who an abuser in The Boarding House? Since the first paragraph of The Boarding House, there is a sense that Mrs. Mooney is the victim of an abusive husband- “… Mr. Mooney began to go to the devil. He Drank, plundered the till, ran headlong into debt. ” The reader sees Mrs. Mooney as the woman who illustrates the difficulties a single mother faces raising a daughter, however her plan to marry her daughter into a higher class banishes any sympathy the reader feels for her- tricking Mr. Doran makes Mrs. Mooney the new abuser. In the first paragraph of “The Boarding House” Mrs.
Mooney is referred to as “a determined woman. ” This reference suggests that even when under her abusive, alcoholic husband’s thumb, she will not stay the quite, controlled woman for long. As her husband pushes her to her limits by threatening her, she takes her first steps of becoming a woman of her own, she opens her own boarding house, and running it “… cunningly and firmly… ” Mrs. Mooney has experienced a difficult marriage and separation- “One night he went for his wife with the cleaver and she had to sleep in a neighbour’s house. ” The first paragraph of the story makes the reader sympathize with Mrs.
Mooney, thinking she is the weak woman who lets her husband control her, however after Mrs. Mooney opens the boarding house to make a living, she is referred to as ‘The Madam’, “All the resident young men spoke of her as The Madam. ” This reference gives a connotation of a lady standing in the head of a whorehouse, suggesting she is a strong, powerful lady, who will not be any one’s victim. The connotation of the whorehouse mistress is not completely baseless. Mrs. Mooney, to some degree, prostitutes her own daughter Polly. She wants Polly to entertain the young men who stay at the boarding house- “I’m a… aughty girl. You needn’t sham: You know I am. ” At first Polly works at the office as a typist, however since her father came to the office every other day, Mrs. Mooney decided to take her back home “… give her the run of the young men. ” Mrs. Mooney wants Polly to find a man to marry, but the young men in the boarding house, she knows, are not interested in marriage- “none of them meant business. ”
This is when the reader realises that Mrs. Mooney had something to do with it and when Mr. Doran talks about how it was not entirely his fault, he describes how Polly came to his room late at night, asking him to light her candle of his, she was dressed in a seductive way. Also he says that there were night when he came in late and Polly was the one to warm his meals. This is the part of the plot where the reader believes that Mrs. Mooney is no longer the one to be sympathized with but Mr. Doran is. Mrs. Mooney realises that to get back the honour of her daughter, she could ask Mr.
Doran to pay her money, but what she is interested in is not his money but to marry her daughter into a higher class- “… patch up such an affair for a sum of money… But she would not do so. For her only one reparation could make up for the loss of her daughter’s honour: marriage. ” Mrs. Mooney knows that Mr. Doran would not want his employer to realise he had an affair with a girl who was not his wife, and therefore uses this threat to make him marry Polly. Mrs. Mooney is going into this conversation knowing she is going to ‘win’ it. She knows that Mr. Doran would not want his employer to hear of this affair and therefore Mr.
Doran will have to ask her daughter to marry him. Mr. Doran knows that the only options he has are either “… marry her or run away? ” which both outcomes do not seem promising to him- marrying a lower class would make his family look down on Polly, because of her father’s reputation, her mother’s boarding house’s certain fame, her bad grammar and her vulgar manner. The latter option was not better for him–he had a good job, all his friends were in Dublin, and his family, too. Mrs. Mooney knew that he would not want to leave the city, “All this long years of service… she knew he would not throw his good position in work away. In conclusion, Mrs. Mooney is first represented as the weak wife that is abused by her drunk husband. Although she may seem like it at the very beginning of the story, right at the end of the first paragraph, Mrs. Mooney run away from her husband and at the beginning of the second paragraph asks for a divorce from her priest- something that is unusual and unaccepted socially at the time. This shows that she is a strong woman who would do what is best for her despite what the society thinks.
As the story continues the reader receives more evidences that Mrs. Mooney is not the one to sympathize with. Mrs. Mooney is revealed to be a manipulative woman that controls everyone around her, starting with her daughter, Polly- making her seduce Mr. Doran to have an intimate relationship with her so that they will have a good reason to convince him to marry Polly so she can be married into a higher class. The reader realises that Mr. Doran is being victimised by Mrs. Mooney and her daughter Polly, and it is proven to the reader only on the last line where Polly “… remembered what she had been waiting for. ”
Is capitalism good for democracy?
Is capitalism good for democracy?.
Is capitalism good for democracy?
Politics paper on is capitalism good for democracy.
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