The Boarding House
The story begins with Mrs. Mooney's failed marriage. It is apparent that Mrs. Mooney was a strong willed woman and refused to deal with a husband that was an abusive drunk. The introduction tells us how Mrs. Mooney came to run a boarding house and how she managed her tenants. The fact that Mrs. Mooney's boarders referred to her as the Madame is quite revealing. The note in the book states that the term "Madame" was a respectful reference to Mrs. Mooney. This piece of information alludes to foreshadowing. Referring to Mrs. Mooney as Madame brings to mind the idea of her as a Madame in a brothel. I am sure that Mrs. Mooney knew that having her daughter in close living quarters with many single men would lead to her being able to marry Polly off. Mrs. Mooney choosing to run a boarding house worked on several levels for her.
She could run a business and make money as well as have a good selection of men for her daughter.
The fact that Mrs. Money was aware of the affair between Polly and Doran and said nothing suggest that she had a plan. She knew that if she waited the affair would eventually become a bargaining tool for her. Mrs. Mooney waited until the proper time to speak with Doran, and had thoughougly planned out how she would convince him that marrying her daughter was the moral thing to do.
At this point the story turns to Doran and he begins to reveal his apprehension for what is about to occur. He plays out a scenario of what might happen to him at his job and how his friends would speak of him. Doran felt helpless and dreaded having to make this decision, which...