The Boarding House

This study guide will help you analyse the text “The Boarding House” by James Joyce. We will show you examples of elements in the text that will be relevant for your analysis. In these notes, we will focus on the summary, structure, characterisations, setting, narrator and point of view, language, theme and message.

Presentation of the text

Title: “The Boarding House”
Author: James Joyce
Published in: Dubliners
Date of Publication: 1914
Genre: Short Story

James Joyce (1882-1941) was an Irish author of short stories and novels who belonged to the modernist movement in literature. Joyce is known for being one of the first authors to use the stream of consciousness in his fiction (rendering the thoughts of characters as they come to their mind), but also for inventing words, which normally do not exist in the English language. His most well-known works are the novel Ulysses and the short story collection Dubliners.


Below, you can read an excerpt from our study guide: 

Social setting

In this short story, the social setting is more important. Firstly, it presents life in Dublin in a boarding house. The house is open to tourists, clerks, and artists, which produces an interesting combination which does not bring a good reputation to its owner, Mrs Mooney. In fact, many aspects of the social setting in the short story point out to the importance of reputation in Dublin. Mrs Mooney takes her daughter from the factory because her drunkard father used to visit her. Also, she is sure that Mr Doran will marry her daughter because he has a reputation to keep.

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The Boarding House

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