The language of the short story “The Boarding House” by James Joyce is complex, yet not difficult to understand. The author occasionally employs some long descriptive phrases along with stream of consciousness (the thought flow of the characters) which may seem harder to follow because of free indirect speech:

All his long years of service gone for nothing! All his industry and diligence thrown away! As a young man he had sown his wild oats, of course; he had boasted of his free-thinking and denied the existence of God to his companions in public-houses.

The above fragment, for instance, represents Mr Doran’s thoughts although they are rendered in the third person and are nor marked by quotation signs.

The choice of words is meant to illustrate the social setting and the atmosphere of Dublin at the beginning of the twentieth century.

Dialogue is used very little, as the narration is more foc...

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