The Boarding House

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The Boarding House Who is a victim and who an abuser in The Boarding House? Since the first paragraph of The Boarding House, there is a sense that Mrs. Mooney is the victim of an abusive husband- “...Mr. Mooney began to go to the devil. He Drank, plundered the till, ran headlong into debt.” The reader sees Mrs. Mooney as the woman who illustrates the difficulties a single mother faces raising a daughter, however her plan to marry her daughter into a higher class banishes any sympathy the reader feels for her- tricking Mr. Doran makes Mrs. Mooney the new abuser. In the first paragraph of “The Boarding House” Mrs. Mooney is referred to as “a determined woman.” This reference suggests that even when under her abusive, alcoholic husband’s…show more content…
Mrs. Mooney is going into this conversation knowing she is going to ‘win’ it. She knows that Mr. Doran would not want his employer to hear of this affair and therefore Mr. Doran will have to ask her daughter to marry him. Mr. Doran knows that the only options he has are either “...marry her or run away?” which both outcomes do not seem promising to him- marrying a lower class would make his family look down on Polly, because of her father’s reputation, her mother’s boarding house’s certain fame, her bad grammar and her vulgar manner. The latter option was not better for him--he had a good job, all his friends were in Dublin, and his family, too. Mrs. Mooney knew that he would not want to leave the city, “All this long years of service...” she knew he would not throw his good position in work away. In conclusion, Mrs. Mooney is first represented as the weak wife that is abused by her drunk husband. Although she may seem like it at the very beginning of the story, right at the end of the first paragraph, Mrs. Mooney run away from her husband and at the beginning of the second paragraph asks for a divorce from her priest- something that is unusual and unaccepted socially at the time. This shows that she is a strong woman who would do what is best for her despite what the society thinks. As the story continues the reader receives more evidences that Mrs. Mooney is not the one to sympathize with. Mrs. Mooney is revealed to be a
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