James Joyce is a complex writer. Through my analysis of his short story The Boarding House, underlying meanings are exposed. Emphasizing a woman's (mrs. mooney's role) in a chauveenistic society.

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Mrs. Mooney: The Business Woman in James Joyce's "The Boarding House"

A close examination of James Joyce's "The Boarding House," reveals Polly to be a mere ploy for Mrs. Mooney to achieve her goal and prove herself to be a real entrepreneur in finding a suitable husband for her daughter. In "The Boarding House," mothers are presented as dominating, manipulative figures that are in control of their own fates and the fates of those surrounding them. Mrs. Mooney has taken upon herself the role of the dominating business woman who manages her daughter's life as if she were an asset. In this role, Mrs. Mooney manipulates Polly into a marriage with the suitor of her choice, Bob Doran. In James Joyce's Dubliners, women's vocational choice were limited, thus the desire to marry was is an unromantic business involving marriage as a means for the woman to acquire money and property (Walzl, 33, 37).

"The Boarding House" begins with the description of Mrs. Mooney's husbands failed business and their failed marriage, "by fighting his wife in the presence of customers and by buying bad meat he ruined his business. One night he went for her with his cleaver and she had slept in the neighbors house. After that they lived apart (Dubliners, 74). Subsequent to receiving a separation from her husband, Mrs. Mooney took control over her life and invested her money into running her private boarding house. Mrs. Mooney's business was managed in a rigid and astute manner, proclaiming to her lodgers that she is the authority of the house, "she governed the house cunningly and firmly, knew when to give credit, when to be stern and when to let things pass. All the resident young men spoke of...