James Joyce wrote and published The Dubliners in the 1900s. During the majority of this time period, Ireland was thought of as one of the most oppressive countries in Europe. The Catholic Church was seen as the highest extent of the law and they did not encourage seeing women any higher than the second-class commonwealth of Ireland. In James Joyce’s The Dubliners, women are seen as victims of society, religion and the household. James Joyce leans towards feminism in how he portrays women in this book. However, even though most of the women in his stories face hardships and play against each other to get money, he promoted women’s suffrage through his short stories in The Dubliners.
Many women still face anti-feminism realities all over the world and Joyce’s female characters represent that. James portrays the female characters in the manner that he does in order to help rid society of the anti-feminism disease it carried. He represents women of the time in an honest and educational manner. However, without reading about James Joyce, one may say he is against women through his hard portrayals of women. In Joyce’s The Boarding House, Mrs. Mooney marries her father’s foreman, which was a tradesman of the time. However, it seems as though her father arranged the marriage, and it portrays that men were the only ones socially accepted to interfere and arrange important matters. Women hardly seemed to have any say in arrangements that concerned their future. There is a theme of deprivation of women. This is shown through the way she was denied the right to choose a life partner; her husband treated her badly and is extremely insulting which denies her the right to stand up for herself. This idea is also shown through a comment made tow...
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...d, and the rest of the world, so desperately needed during this time period.
Using the characters Mrs. Mooney, Polly and Eveline, Joyce was able to openly address the lack of women’s rights in a way that appeases the public eye and the critical thinker. It seems as though Joyce’s female characters were mirror imitations of women in the 1900s. Women’s suffrage was not a myth by any means and James cunningly portrayed that in Dubliners. He was able to address the cruelty women faced in marriage and from men in general. In addition, women were under scrutiny from the Catholic Church and society as a whole. They had to accept where they were in life and deal with the suffocating sorrow that came with it. However, Joyce portrayed a side of women that was stronger than the oppressive men and the capability of making the heroine choice of self-sacrificial decision-making.
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