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Mrs Mooney The Business Woman in James Joyces The Boarding House A close examination of James Joyces The Boarding House reveals Polly to be a mere ploy for Mrs Mooney to achieve her goal and prove herself to be a real entrepreneur in finding a suitable husband for her daughter In The Boarding House mothers are presented as dominating manipulative figures that are in control of their own fates and the fates of those surrounding them Mrs Mooney has taken upon herself the role of the dominating business woman who manages her daughters life as if she were an asset In this role Mrs Mooney manipulates Polly into a marriage with the suitor of her choice Bob Doran In James Joyces Dubliners womens vocational choice were limited thus the desire to marry was is an unromantic business involving marriage as a means for the woman to acquire money and property Walzl 33 37 The Boarding House begins with the description of Mrs Mooneys husbands failed business and their failed marriage by fighting his wife in the presence of customers and by buying bad meat he ruined his business One night he went for her with his cleaver and she had slept in the neighbors house After that they lived apart Dubliners 74 Subsequent to receiving a separation from her husband Mrs Mooney took control over her life and invested her money into running her private boarding house Mrs Mooneys business was managed in a rigid and astute manner proclaiming to her lodgers that she is the authority of the house she governed the house cunningly and firmly knew when to give credit when to be stern and when to let things pass All the resident young men spoke of her as The Madam Dubliners 75 Rosenberg 2 In Garry M Leonards article Sex and the Symbolic Order in The Boarding House Leonard discusses Mrs Mooneys ability to operate at the base of everything
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