The boarding house - By James Joyce
One of the most interesting things about reading fiction is the narrator. The narrator is really important for us and we need a narrator to obtain understanding of the characters and the story. And especially a narrator that makes us able to really go under the skin of our characters is attention grabbing. And that is exactly what we have in “The boarding house” - actually we are presented to multiple points of views in the very same story.
In the beginning of “The boarding house” we are introduced to Mrs Mooney. She is the owner of a boarding house and a respectable, determined woman. She is aware that her 19-year-old daughter is having an affair with the wealthy and older Mr Doran, but she does not intervene before the affair is consummated. She knows that the most likely outcome is that Mr Doran marries Polly and therefore she has a chance of moving up the social ladder: “She felt sure she would win” (page 2).
The next point of view is Mr Doran’s. He is very nervous and knows that he has to marry Polly even though he is not thrilled about it. “The harm was done. What could he do now but marry her or run away?” (page 3). He has to marry Polly but he is drawn to the thought of running away although it would be detrimental to his reputation.
Finally we have Polly herself as the third point of view. She has seduced Mr Doran, and the scene where she visits him late one evening asking for light because her candle has gone out almost seems like it is “staged”. “It was her bath night. She wore a loose open combing-jacket of printed flannel.” (page 4). She is sensullally dressed and it is presented like it is something that she has planned down to the last detail - and probably she has. She is crying when Mr Doran leaves for the meeting with Mrs Mooney but then she starts thinking about the future. “She waited on patiently, almost cheerfully, without alarm. Her memories gradually giving place to hopes and visions of...
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