British Soc & Mod Novs: Blog Post 1 (Dubliners)

Dubliners, by James Joyce (1914)

Reading List: Please read: Araby, Eveline, After the Race, The Boarding House, A Little Cloud, Counterparts, A Mother, The Dead.

Blog posts and presentations due: Monday, Sep. 25

Group 1: “The Boarding House”: Mr. Doran and Polly’s marriage will probably be a bad one– is this true, and why?

Write a post here of two paragraphs (about 200 words) discussing one of these questions; or make your post a reply to someone else’s post.

For the presentations, choose one story per group. Your presentation must present an opinion or argument; it cannot just summarize the story. You must e-mail or speak to me before your presentation to have it approved.

  1. Araby. How can you describe the narrator? Why is he so disappointed by the fair at the end? What was he expecting?
  2. Eveline. Why does Eveline panic and refuse to join Frank? Do her actions symbolize something deeper? Why does she act as she does at the end?
  3. After the Race. Why does Jimmy regret gambling with the others? What is the meaning of the story, or the meaning of “daybreak”?
  4. The Boarding House. Has either Mrs. Mooney or Polly “trapped” Mr. Doran, or does he get what he deserves?
  5. A Little Cloud. Do you sympathize with Little Chandler? Is he right to feel the way he does?
  6. Counterparts. Farrington is obviously an alcoholic; does he deserve his treatment at work? Is there a connection between his feelings and his treatment of his son?
  7. A Mother. Why does Mrs. Kearney act the way she does? Is she right to? How do you feel about her daughter?
  8. The Dead. What does the story mean? Some people believe it is about Gabriel, but others that it is about Ireland, and some critics see it as describing life itself. Can you see meaning in the story?

4 thoughts on “British Soc & Mod Novs: Blog Post 1 (Dubliners)

  1. Park Ye Jong

    2.Eveline. Why does Eveline panic and refuse to join Frank? Do her actions symbolize something deeper? Why does she act as she does at the end?

    Joyce illustrate Dubliners paralyze by showing Eveline’s hesitation. Eveline’s family doesn’t have money and his father always drink alcohol and use violence against his daughter. She is exhausted and wants to escape this poor environment. She decides to run away from her land with her lover. She almost succeeds to escape the land, but she starts to frighten and hesitate to escape even though her lover urges to board the ship. She yearns for freedom, however, she finally stays in her current situation and freedom still remain in just dream. Like Evelin, Joyce expressed the other characters who could not escape current situation in Dubliners. By illustrating these characters, Joyce tells us that Dublin’s politic situation and British’s colonialism. He gives us message that Dublin is under influence of British and it is hard to escape from it. Joyce thinks Dublin must be unchanged if Dubliners does not want to change and concerned British’s colonization will be forever. Therefore, Joyce wants people (Dubliners) read this Evelin’s episode and find enlightenment for their independence. That’s the reason why Joyce makes Eveline hesitate at the end.

  2. Kim Soyeon

    6. Counterparts

    Farrington is an alcoholic and a lazy person, and he is not a good worker. Farrington goes to drink freely during his work. He does not worry about his boss’ anger or criticism. Farrington’s companies do not stop him and lets him go out. Also, Farrington says that his boss’ criticism about him is not gentle, and he is proud of saying that. Farrington is a man of moods who likes to squander money in the pub, and he hits his family. All of his rude lines get on nerves. Farrington does not have any good sides in the novel.
    I think this stubborn man expresses repressed Ireland. When ‘Dubliners’ was written, Ireland was a colony of England. Ireland’s society was perfectly connected to England. Therefore, the writer James Joyce who had complaints expressed the main character as a violent man. When I read the novel again, I could find some proper reasons why Farrington why he acted so badly. Farrington always copies boring letters, and his boss always blames him. Girls of the pub ignore him, and he loses from an arm wrestling. Therefore, there is no connection between his violence and disobedience; Farrington just follows his nature. His behaviors cannot be justified, but now I can understand him a little. I think I can feel the biggest sadness and suppression of the Irish from ‘Counterparts’ among all of the novels of ‘Dubliners.’

  3. Suh Yujeong

    2. Eveline.

    I think Eveline still has a lingering affection, so she suddenly feels scary and panic. If she joins Frank, it means that she leaves her hometown, the neighbors and her family. Eveline wants to leave because she lives hard life. For example, she always gives her entire wages to her father and her father never gives his wages to her and he is an alcoholic. However, what if her life becomes worse, after already leaves her hometown. Moreover, Eveline feels sorry about her family. She thinks her father is becoming old and she thinks that he will miss her after she leaves. The night before she decides to leave, she recollects about what her father has done for her when she was sick, and she also recollects the promise that she will take care of her family with her mother. Eveline feels taking care of her family alone is hard and it is really hard life, but before she was about to leave, she thinks it isn’t wholly undesirable life. When I read this part, I thought that she does not want to leave.
    In conclusion, Eveline refuses to join Frank because she has a lingering affection for her family, hometown and her life in there.

  4. JongHoon Park

    Q4. The Boarding House. Has either Mrs. Mooney or Polly “trapped” Mr. Doran, or does he get what he deserves?

    I think that both Mrs. Mooney and Polly trapped Mr. Doran and there are some supporting reasons here. First of all, Mrs. Mooney was just a bystander when she noticed something was going on between Mr. Doran and Polly. Of course it is mentioned that “Mrs. Mooney thought of sending Polly back to typewriting”, but there was no specific reaction and she kept silent. Next reason is that Polly suddenly became relieved at the last part of this story. Although it appears that Polly is really sorrowful and even weeping alone in the middle of this story, I guess it is also fake due to the limitation of the place, ‘the Boarding House.’ In other words, she was cooperating with Mrs. Mooney for the ‘trap’ would have been revealed to all of the visitors including lodgers unless they had pretended together.

    So I consider the Mrs. Mooney’s observation for Polly as a strategy to deceive the others, too. In addition, it was such a perfect trap because they could be both attackers who made the trap, and victims who went through unwanted accident. In that sense, it is right that Mr. Doran is supposed to be responsible for his sin. He is already in mid-30s, which is definitely an adult’s age, and he must have controlled himself in front of the 19-year-old girl. It must not be an excuse if it is intended or not. In conclusion, Mrs. Mooney and Polly could have accomplished their purpose : Polly’s marriage through these clever plans.


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