Response 3.3

April 8, 2019

Reading Assignment: “The Boarding House,” “A Little Cloud,” and “Counterparts,” from Dubliners.

Writing Assignment: In a short response, choose one short passage from one of the three stories and write a close reading of the passage. Focus on how the style of the passage––the descriptions, the sentence structure, the tone––contributes to its meaning. How does the passage fit into the larger story? And how does it reflect certain themes in the whole book, so far?

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14 Responses to “Response 3.3”

  1.   Kyle Swedin said:

    the story The boarding House starts off with a description of the main characters family. Along with most of the other stories in the Dubliners, there is a presented dark side. In this chapter we see the Mooney family. The butchers daughter was Mrs. Mooney. She married one of her fathers employees – the foreman – Mr. Mooney. Everything seemed fine until her father died. After that, her husband became a bad man. He was described as, “beginning to go to the devil” (52). He became an abusive drunk who would fight Mrs. Mooney and would also steal and made them go into debt. He ruined the butcher shop by selling bad meat and hitting his wife in front of customers. She eventually left him and took the kids, money and property with her, leaving him nothing. This made him enlist as a sheriffs man where he would sit all day and wait to be put to work. Mrs Mooney however, took all she had and set up a boarding house for young men. This became successful and Mrs Mooney was making good business. A connection between this story and all of the other ones we’ve read is that all of them appear to have bad experiences or things happen in them but at the same time have good things as well. In this case the abusive drunk husband of Mrs Mooney’s was the negative aspect but her separating from him and opening a boarding house that took off was the positive side.

  2.   Rose Fattakhov said:

    In “The Boarding House” by James Joyce, Mrs. Mooney escapes a terrible marriage with a drunken husband. This marriage continues the horrid theme going through the short stories we have already read. After the end of the marriage, Mrs. Mooney opens a Boarding House in order to sustain herself and children. Her daughter, Polly, ends up having an affair with Mr. Doran, who wants nothing more, but is then pushed into an unwanted relationship. The definition of marriage, as suggested in this story, is more about social standards and what the public may indicate, then about the feelings the two partners have for each other. Polly’s mother believes in this definition and pushes it on her daughters relationship. Before the opening of the boarding house, Polly was working in an office, but her mother asked her to stay home and entertain the guests. There is a use of an analogy here. Polly was asked to entertain the guests, which she does and the guest who she entertains happens to be male and results in an affair. Her mother basically pushed her into a role of a prostitute, asking her to give up her job to help around with entertainment at the boarding house. Even though her mother had no intention of this happening, Polly was prostituted in some way. Mrs. Mooney looks after the affair for some time and does not interfere until she deems necessary. Then, she insists that Mr. Doran propose to Polly purely out of what others might think. This continues to show the twisted idea and definition of marriage throughout the short story. Mr. Doran struggles with the idea of marriage and how others will lose respect for him because he is marrying down the social hierarchy, but his priest and others convince him otherwise and persuade him to think about how the affair might look in other people’s eyes. Polly speaks to Mr. Doran in distress, and he, also being in distress, tells her not to worry and goes to speak to Mrs. Mooney. The only thing getting him to through with this is the feeling of nobody on his side, and the idea of what other people might think. The dark theme continues through Mrs. Mooney’s divorce and Polly and Mr. Doran getting married for the wrong reasons. Mr. Doran does not love Polly and they are getting married completely out of societal reasons

  3.   Navneet Kaur said:

    The short story “Counterparts” in the book Dubliners involves a young man named Mr.Alleyne. Mr.Alleyne is a man that works in an office and like almost everyone doesnt really like his job. While hes at work all he thinks about is hanging out with his friends and drinking. This thought is all that runs through his mind and he neglets hsi duties at work. A common quality seen in Dubliners is the characters desire for something they also face obstacles that frustrate them and ultimately let go of their desires in and end up paralyzing in the momet. He cant say anything to his superiors an dcnat leave the job so hes just down to watching his clock waiting for the horrid time at his job to pass by.

  4.   Brian Osorio said:

    In the beginning of “The Boarding House” we are introduced to Mrs. Mooney and how she was married to Mr. Mooney. And basically the husband went crazy and tried to kill his wife with a cleaver, she slept in a neighbors house that night. She got divorced from him and later started her boarding house on Hardwicke street. She managed the place really well. And it has the same concept as the other stories, the concept of not knowing whether or not to commit to marriage or love.

  5.   jennifer gavilanes said:

    “The Boarding House,” marriage has two meanings in this story. Mrs. Mooney’s and Mr. Doran’s show that marriage is more about social standards, public perception than about feelings. Mrs. Mooney shows the challenges that a single mother of a daughter faces, but her scheme to marry Polly into a higher class come to show otherwise in this story. Mrs. Mooney does prostitute her daughter. She insists that Polly leave her office job and stay at home at the boarding house. What Mrs. Mooney argues is that men should carry the same responsibility as women in love affairs, but while she still tries to get rid of her daughter so easily.

  6.   Ayoub Janah said:

    James Joyce never fails to disappoint his readers as he provided clear themes that are faced during the early years of the 20th century. “The Boarding House” which is a short story about marriage and how it may offer financial gain while in the other hand, may feel like imprisonment. It starts off by Mrs. Mooney who has struggled to live with her husband. In which her husband one night tried to kill her with a cleaver. She ends of separating, filing a divorce with the husband. So she takes whatever she has in her pocket with the butcher business and her two children Jack and Polly to invest in building a boarding house. This soon is where the climax arises as Polly begins to work as a maid in this boarding house to not only attract musicians and artists from cities. And given the amount of young men in the boarding house it was inevitable for Polly to form a relationship. Mr.Doran a priest who is living in the boarding house soon a relationship blossoms with polly. Mrs.Mooney sees this and decided to intervene when they have sexual desires. This is the moment that Mrs.Mooney was waiting for. As she had all the odds in her favor, she asked Mr.Doran on a Sunday morning for reparations to his actions with Polly. As it states, “…the priest had drawn out every ridiculous detail of the affair and in the end had so magnified his sin that he was almost thankful at being afforded a loophole of reparation.”(56) Mr.Doran had no choice but to accept this reparation as it was to keep his status. His career was in stake and Mrs.Mooney used that to her advantage. She decided the only compensation that she wanted was for Mr.Doran to marry her. This was the idea for Mr.Doran to make amends and leave all this behind him. This soon ends with Mr.Doran going with Polly and questioning his freedom and limitations that comes with marriage. Polly has been having a stirrup mood of unhappiness and feeling emotionless at times. Mr. Doran goes into deep thoughts of what his actions has caused him to do. For example, it states, “First of all there was her disreputable father and then her mother’s boarding house was a beginning to get a certain fame.”(57) This was planned by Mrs.Mooney she wanted financial gain and profit from this very marriage. As Mr.Doran goes in the state of thinking about how he is entrapped with this very marriage. And understands that his desires with Polly has taken him into the state of misery and a loss in his career. But what I have noticed in every short story of James Joyce there is a connection. That connection is religion. Each story gives some sort of fundamental of how the catholic Church is corrupted. For example, Mr. Doran is a priest and usually priests are associated with holiness and cleanliness. But James Joyce sent a message that priests are also born with impurities and have their own faults.

  7.   Jenson Hu said:

    The story, “The Boarding House” by James Joyce, starts off by introducing Mrs.Mooney, the main character of the story. The background involving Mrs.Mooney is that she had left her husband because he was violent (He tried to attack her with a meat cleaver). The story then goes on to develop the character’s life by describing the events that occurred after leaving the husband. In the story, it states that she sets up a boarding house in Hardwicke street and raised her children, where she became known as “The Madam”. The story then adjusts to Polly’s(the madam’s daughter) life and explains how she worked at an office. However, she tends to be flirty with many guys. One man in particular, Mr Doran, had a special connection with Polly compared to the rest of the men. The Madam, who was not supportive of those two, confronted Mr.Doran and spoke with him about marriage with his daughter, as that was the only way to pay ‘reparation’ according to The Madam. Unable to make a decision between marrying her or running away due to the losses between the other choices, Mr.Doran is forced marry Polly in order to save his reputation in the city. A common theme amongst all the stories in the Dubliners is that there is usually a case of violence, and love.

  8.   Terry Chen said:

    The story “A Little Cloud” by James Joyce is about a character named “Chandler” who was having a get together with his old friend Ignatius Gallaher. On the way of meeting his old friend, he thinks about the past and how his friend has turned out. In the story it states “The friend whom he had known under a shabby and necessitous guise had become a brilliant figure on the London press”. The story continues to say “Still, now that he reviewed the past, Little Chandler could remember many signs of future greatness in his friend”. Within these descriptions there seem to be a sense of envy and sadness within them. Chandler had a thing for poetry and wanted a career path evolving poetry but couldn’t do it because he had to tend to his wife and child. In the story it states “A dull resentment against his life awoke within him. Could he not escape from his little house? Was it too late for him to try to live bravely like Gallaher?”. A reoccurring theme that I see from Joyce’s style is how descriptive Joyce is, however, the stories all are puzzling and contain a mystery. In addition, these stories’ endings leave the readers to think.

  9.   Wenhui Ding said:

    The “Boarding House” is written by James Joyce. The theme of this story is paralysis, and marriage. As James Joyce does in a lot of the stories in Dubliners, is using colors (brown and yellow) to symbolize decay and paralysis. From this story “Breakfast was over in the boarding house and the table of the breakfast-room was covered with plates on which lay yellow streaks of eggs with morsels of bacon-fat and bacon-rind….. Mrs. the sugar and butter safe under lock and key.”(54) This description is significant as Joyce is symbolizing, through color the state of paralysis that exists within Mrs. Mooney’s boarding house, particularly for Bob Doran. “Besides, he had been employed for thirteen years in a great Catholic wine-merchant’s office and publicity would mean for him, perhaps, the loss of his job.”(56) Many other men had stayed there at the boarding house and made advances towards Polly. Mooney felt the men were just passing by and were not actually seriously interested in her daughter, therefore paying no attention. However, Mr. Doran was of a different nature. She allowed the relationship to go on without intervention, possibly because she knew he made good money, along with having a secure job, working for a great Catholic wine-merchant. Mrs. Mooney figures the odds are in her favor, considering that Mr. Doran, who has worked for a wine merchant for thirteen years and garnered much respect, will choose the option that least harms his career. In this story, marriage offers promise and profit on the one hand, and entrapment and loss on the other.

  10.   Jason Jiang said:

    The story “A little cloud” starts off with a description of Chandler who is the main character of the story and it also gives the setting of the story which takes place in Dublin like all of the other stories. The story is about Chandlers life and how his friend Gallaher who he saw off to London came back to meet him explained all the success he had which starts to make Chandler question his life. Unlike Chandler Gallaher isn’t married and had found success in London and he explains the stories of his travels through France, Germany, and London which makes Chandler jealous. The story is told through a third person perspective, but also gives insight on what Chandler is thinking. The story is about how Chandler wants to seek success like his friend Gallaher, but the want for success clouded his mind and made him doubt his marriage and even neglect his child and he was only shown the reality of his actions from his wife which made him regret his actions. The passage fits into the larger story as every story by James Joyce has a certain theme around it and each story is about the internal struggle the characters face.

  11.   Alinoor Rahman said:

    The story “A Little Cloud” starts with a chandler who is eagerly waiting to meet an old friend Ignatius who moved to London many years ago. Chandler or his nickname, “little chandler” is a married man who is also a father who has a regular clerical job. He is always amazed at Ignatius Gallaher’s impressive writing skills, since he does write for a newspaper. Throughout the story it seems as though chandler is having a small conflict within himself. He’s always thinking about how Ignatius’s success in writing for the newspaper. He then thinks about his own dreams of just writing. He remembers he loved writing poetry before he was married to his wife. He contemplates ideas of writing his own books and other writings eventually.

    Chandler and Ignatius eventually do meet and catch up over a few drinks and. They speak of Ignatius’s travels to worldly experiences as, foreign cities, and even marriage. Chandler notices that Ignatius’s hair is thinning which as well he assumes is due to the stressful life of being in the press. Throughout the whole conversation Chandler seems to admire Ignatius for his stories to the way he presents himself, etc. He then returns home and looks at a picture pf his wife. He holds his baby son in his arm and re thinks about the women Ignatius spoke about and realizes his wide isn’t of that tier. He thinks about writing again as the baby is crying. His wife takes back to baby to calm him. A common them seems to be just experiences, doubt, even frustration. Little Chandler had regrets and even remorse throughout the story. He wanted to be like Ignatius but was a family man with a boy. He believes to be successful he must become a writer and has to leave Dublin like Ignatius did. He blames his life on his wife and kid.

  12.   Veronica Pena said:

    In the story “Counterparts” we see similar themes James Joyce has shown before in previous stories. The main character Farrington is unhappy with his life. He works making copies of documents for a firm. In the beginning of the story his boss, Mr. Alleyne, yells at him for not completing his work. Mr Alleyne threatens to fire Farrington if he doesn’t complete an important document by the end of the day. Farrington tries to do his work but becomes too distracts and ends up going to the pub. When he returns he once again realizes he hasn’t finished his work and is once again reprimanded by Mr. Alleyne. He manages to insult Mr. Alleyne but is forced to apologize to him. When he leaves work he ends up at the pub again we’re his friends recount how he managed to insult their boss. One of Farrington’s friends introduces them to a guy named Weathers and they spend the night going from pub to pub and buying each other rounds. At the end of the night frustrated from losing an arm wrestle against Weathers and with little money, Farrington returns home. When he gets there he discovers his the fire to warm his dinner has gone out. For this he punishes his son Tom by beating him.
    Unlike characters before him Farrington doesn’t accept his fate but complains about it. He is angry with it but doesn’t work to change it. He grumbles about the work he hasn’t, the money the loses buying drinks for his friends and about the fire going out in his home. A common theme that is seen in this story as well as other of Joyce’s stories is repetition. Farrington’s fate is to live a life of repetition. He works in a job forced to make copies of documents. He’s repeatedly going from pub to pub and buying round after round of drinks. He even copies Mr. Alleyne punishing him for not doing his work and punishes his son for not doing what he was supposed to. Joyce also shows the theme of repetition in the story by having characters repeat lines they say. In one paragraph Mr Alleyne says “You impertinent ruffian! You impertinent ruffian!” (80) when scolding Ferrington for neglecting his work. Ferrington even reiterates sentences himself when mocking his son “He began to mimick his son’s flat accent l, saying half to himself: ‘At the chapel. At the chapel, if you please!” (85). We see a lot of this throughout the story. Everything in Ferrington’s life seems to duplicate. The events he experiences, his job, everything is similar. He doesn’t think about his discontent and therefore continues in this cycle which becomes worse as it goes on.

  13.   Matthew Outar said:

    James Joyce’s “The Boarding House” vividly displays the hardships faced by women of the 20th century. Similarly, to “Eveline” this text criticizes the concept and societal expectations of marriage. In this story we are introduced to Mrs. Mooney who has recently gone through a difficult unsuccessful marriage with her alcoholic husband. Important parallels can be drawn between these two texts as they both addresses societal issues that were current at this time. This seems to be a theme that Joyce uses as a fundamental pillar for his writing. In “Eveline” we see how women in society were deprived of opportunities because of their expectations to commit to their domestic duties. Yet again, James Joyce constructs a story that excellently addresses another problem faced by women in marriages which was dealing with their drunk and usually abusive husbands. This theme is further exemplified by the relationship between Polly and Mr. Doran, here again Joyce vividly paints a picture of the societal view of marriage during the 20th century. This story embodies aspects of an Austenian text when we see Mrs. Mooney try to almost force her daughter into marriage. It is evident that marriage was merely a financial institution driven by the desire for economic and social stability. Throughout these text James Joyce heavily emphasizes that marriage was less about feelings during this time period. This is clear as Mr. Doran question whether he should marry her mainly taking their social classes into question. He wonders if marrying her will lower his status or simply thaht she is not on the same level as him. This oppressive dominant male figure is exactly what Joyce criticizes in his text.

  14.   Dejun Gao said:

    “The “Boarding House” is written by James Joyce.In the story marriage has two meanings in this story. Mrs. Mooney and Mr. Dolan show that marriage is more about social standards, public perception than feelings. Mrs. Mooney showed the challenge of a daughter’s single mother, but her plan to marry Polly to a higher class is shown in this story. Mrs. Mooney married her daughter. She insisted that Polly leave her office and stay in the homestay. What Mrs. Mooney said is that men should bear the same responsibilities as women in love, but she still tries to get rid of her daughter easily.

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