Boarding House Manipulation

Decent Essays

o The motif of manipulation is seen everywhere throughout The Boarding House. The owner of the house, Ms. Mooney, is the main manipulator. She is the person in charge at the house and because of this she earns the name “the Madam” by the house’s employees and guests. In the beginning of the story the reader learns that Ms. Mooney has suffered through a difficult marriage with a drunken husband and that she opened the Boarding House to generate income to support herself and her two children, her son Jack and her daughter Polly. The house is full of clerks, as well as tourists and other types of male guests. Polly also use to work in the city in an office but moved back to the house to work there and be with her mother. Over time, Polly develops a relationship with one of the guests, Mr. Doran. Mr. …show more content…

Ms. Mooney knows that Mr. Doran has confessed (like literally confessed to a priest) that he is having an affair with Polly so she uses this to her advantage and corners him into offering his hand in marriage to her daughter. Mr. Doran soon realizes that there is no way to remain free and unmarried to Polly without having his reputation ruined so Ms. Mooney ‘wins’ in a way. Ms. Mooney’s nickname is a key indicator of her manipulative manner. The name “Madam” connotes the head of a prostitution ring, and in a way Ms. Mooney is selling her daughter. She convinces this man to bring her daughter up in the classes through the use of her daughter. She uses her daughter to bring down Mr. Doran’s reputation (because he would be marrying beneath his class) to bring up her daughter’s. While doing this she is also getting rid of her needy daughter at the same time. So for Ms. Mooney, it’s a win-win situation. Manipulation is also seen through Polly when she enters the room as Mr. Doran is getting ready to meet with her mother. She confesses bad thoughts when she says that she “would put an end to herself” (Joyce

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