Free Essay Sample. The Dubliners

Published: 2023-04-04
Free Essay Sample. The Dubliners
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Relationship Character analysis Books Comparative literature
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1145 words
10 min read

For this study, the stories chosen about "The Dubliners" by James Joyce are entitled, "The Boarding House" and "Eveline." Even though the events and situations experienced by Eveline and Polly are different, they also have similarities. The two characters get hostile treatments from their parents.

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In the short story "Eveline", Eveline is portrayed as a character who stays with her abusive father where her siblings had moved away because they are grown up. Eveline mother had died, forcing her to deal with her father alone. The story portrays Eveline as a worker in a store where she is always trapped and feel tired (Joyce, 55). The readers get to know the similarity of Eveline with most of the people in the contemporary world. On the one hand, the reader can understand that Eveline seeks to be loved, to raise a better family and vanishes from the city that hinders her from having a peaceful and better life. Eveline longs of a town where she can feel free and be alive once more.

For that reason, Eveline meets a sailor whose name is Frank. The book portrays the character, Frank, as open-hearted, manly, kind, and a total contradiction of Eveline's father (Joyce, 56). Any time Eveline wanted to meet Frank, she had to do it in secret. Her father did not approve of Eveline meetings with Frank. In essence, Eveline father deemed Frank as other sailors who only wanted to take advantage of young ladies without seeking their hands in marriage. To his utter surprise, Frank was genuine and genuinely wanted to marry Eveline.

On the other hand, Eveline believed that Frank would redeem her from the shackles and unhappiness fueled in the paralyzing city. In this story, Joyce takes the readers to an event in Eveline's life where she is reminiscing about her mother's demise and the treatment and delirious malady she succumbed in the end. Readers get to know the extent of Eveline thinking when Joyce posits, "As she mused the pitiful vision of her mother's life laid its spell on the very end," (Joyce, 58).

In the context of Polly's situation, it can be argued, "A wise man makes his own decisions, and an ignorant man follows the social ideology despite moral conflicts and common civility." The claim holds water in Joyce's story "The Boarding House." The story is primarily a tale of an emotionally damaging mother who operates a "boarding house", where Polly is portrayed as a young promiscuous daughter live (Joyce, 106). Polly works and engaged in a love affair with one of the occupants of the house. In this context, the mother is called Mrs Mooney who does not handle the affair morally and discreetly. Ideally, Mrs Mooney gives more room for the social expectation of the time to increase the pressure of the relationship. After the right amount of pressure is exerted, she comes up to increase suspicion over a love-filled decision of marriage that involved a young man by the name Mr Doran

Comparison and Contrast

The short story "The Boarding House," Joyce has expressed her skills of characterization. A divorced wife, Mrs Mooney has been portrayed as a very determined woman. As the ultimate protagonist character, Mrs Mooney not only controls the life of her daughter, Polly but also a firm controller of her own life (Joyce, 106). Joyce narrates to the readers that Mrs Mooney had planned to secure Polly in a happy marriage. The trait in Mr Mooney expression reveals a little bit of ambiguity. In essence, readers can consider her as demanding of equality between males and females but do that to manipulate the relationship to exclude her daughter relationship. In the plot of the story, Mrs Mooney's character is justified.

In this story, Joyce unravels Mrs Mooney as a woman who challenges the rigid gender and class bounds imposed to them in the society by using the ambiguous character. Despite Mr Mooney striving to hold a central role among the middle class, her position is challenged by the acts of prostitution her daughter Polly does (Joyce, 107). For that reason, the promiscuous act performs by her very own daughter contradicts the law. Readers are given a chance to make their own decision concerning Mrs Mooney.

In the short story "Eveline", Joyce exercises writing techniques and styles covering aspects such as allusion, history, and symbolism to depict a struggle between motivation and paralysis. The readers can tell the shifts between the current events and the old recollections. As the primary protagonist in the story, Eveline decides to quit her home to look for a better life (Joyce, 58). One of the reasons for her leaving is to run from her alcoholic and abusive father. For that reason, she perceived that time is right to make critical choices.

While thinking of leaving, Eveline is disturbed mentally to go to the place which is entirely unknown to her. Thus, her feet become paralyzed on the dock in front of a sailing boat leaving to Bueno Aires (Joyce, 58). Based on this context, the readers can see the two options that Eveline can explore. One of the alternatives is to stay trapped in the current miserable life or leave home. The other possibility is that she may not go with Frank since she is quite unsure about how he will treat her. Readers can understand that Eveline is attached to her home to the extent of willing to endure the physical and mental abuse she had previously experienced.

The concept of paralysis and motivation is largely portrayed in the short story "Eveline." The motive behind her move from home was to seek a change of life for herself. On the information provided by Joyce, readers can get to understand that Eveline father was abusive. Joyce belabors on the point that "Even now, though she was over nineteen, she sometimes felt herself in danger of her father's violence. Eveline's father started taking his drinking aggression out on her," (Joyce, 56).


From the two short stories "The Boarding House" and "Eveline" there is both differences and similarities. For instance, when Mrs Mooney discovers that her only daughter Polly is interested in a 34-35 years old man, Mr Doran, she decides to remain silent (Joyce, 107). However, when she deemed it for the right moment she confronted her daughter Polly about the relationship. Eveline father does not face her at the right moment but instead claims that Frank intends to use his daughter. Mrs Mooney confrontation to Mr Doran is based on her daughter losing her honor.

In conclusion, Polly's relationship and Eveline relationship is based on manipulative parents. For instance, it is quite tragic on the way Mrs Mooney handles her daughter's marriage. Also, it is quite annoying on how Eveline's father handles her relationship with Frank.

Works Cited

Joyce, J. The Dubliners: Includes MLA Style Citations for Scholarly Secondary Sources, Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles and Critical Essays. CreateSpace, 2015.

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