Characterisation of Mrs Mooney


Mrs Mooney is one of the most developed characters in the short story “The Boarding House” by James Joyce, as the narrative follows her through most of the narrative. Mr Mooney is an absent character and Jack Mooney is a secondary character which help give the story authenticity and illustrate some aspects about Dubliners.

Outer characterisation

The woman’s outer characterisation informs us that she is a “butcher’s daughter” who used to be married to a man who worked for his father but subsequently became a violent drunkard. The woman also owns a boarding house, she is probably middle-aged and “a big imposing woman” at the time of the narration, and has a son and a daughter.

Inner characterisation

Mrs Mooney’s inner characterisation is initially rendered directly by the narrator who presents her as “a woman who was quite able to keep things to herself: a determined woman”

Subsequently, her inner traits unfold gradually, through her actions and attitude upon which the narrator comment...

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