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Dubliners - "A Mother" (Story 13 of 15) 
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Almost Awesome

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Post Re: Dubliners - "A Mother" (Story 13 of 15)
I haven't been reading Dubliners with a mind toward a thesis that might bind these stories together. But, now you mention it, that is a clear possibility. I suppose if one generalizes enough, there is always a 'thesis', or at least some sort of guiding idea in the authors mind. Whether or not this idea is advanced or insisted on as a thesis is another question.

With regards to this story, I do see a gender theme but I don't really see Mrs. Kearney as a feminist by choice. I see her as a mother trying to stick up for her daughter in a male dominated world. She doesn't get any help from her husband, even though he apparently intends to be supportive, so her role as an opponent of the men is pre-determined, not by her, but by the men ... she has to take them on in her daughter's interest and of course, through their lens, she is over-zealous, unreasonable, maybe even hysterical.

Really, Mrs. Kearney is trapped .. if she doesn't act her daughter gets cheated and the whole situation is disempowering. If she does act she is attacked and discredited and her daughter is doomed to failure. Her gender makes this attack dead easy and guaranteed to succeed. The men will close ranks. One wonders how the story might have been different if her husband had taken up the cause instead?



Wed Apr 24, 2013 5:17 pm
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Post Re: Dubliners - "A Mother" (Story 13 of 15)
Giselle, maybe you're right about Kathleen Kearney being all right despite her mother pulling her from the concert. I noticed that in "The Dead," Miss Ivors invites Gabriel to tour the west of Ireland with a group that includes Kathleen. She wasn't on the outs with the Irish revival movement after all.



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giselle
Wed Apr 24, 2013 9:06 pm
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Post Re: Dubliners - "A Mother" (Story 13 of 15)
My overall impression of the Dubliners short stories is of restlessness, change and agitation among common folk who are otherwise going about their lives (and deaths) in Dublin as they always have. I'm not sure if I should connect this impression to the nationalist political/social environment of the time in Ireland, but it is tempting. I also have no idea if Joyce intended to convey this impression.



Thu Apr 25, 2013 3:09 pm
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