However, as the story progresses, it becomes evident that Mrs. Kearney is a brave woman who has the capacity and boldness required to fight for her rights and that of her daughter. When her daughter signs a contract to perform in the concerts, the event organizers did not intend to pay her. However, the way that Mrs. Kearney handles the situation makes it obvious that she is a different person outside the home setting. She does not blindly obey and respect men in accordance with the Victorian ideals when the men in question do not prove themselves to be worthy of the respect.
It is unfortunate that the men expected her to behave like a woman while they were not willing to pay her daughter her dues (Schwarze 2002, p. 66). From the way Mrs. Kearney behaves, it is evident that she does not need to be a man biologically in order to portray characteristics of boldness. Many of the people who attended the event criticized her for her boldness. However, it is obvious that Mrs. Kearney is not willing to let the men take advantage of her daughter’ s talent without paying her in accordance with the contract agreement.
Although her husband is present, she is more vocal in her efforts to defend her daughter. Mrs. Kearney is well aware that things would have been different if she were a man. This is evident when Joyce says, “ They wouldn't have dared to have treated her like that if she had been a man” (Joyce & Mann 2014, p. 115). However, Mrs. Kearney does not allow herself to be stigmatized by the men who criticized her.
It is evident that men and women in the Victorian era had different positions in the society. Since the society promoted patriarchy, men expected women to respect them simply because they were men and not based on character. On the other hand, women were expected to be homemakers caring for their families. However, Joyce created the character of Mrs. Kearney in an effort to illustrate that some women were willing to stand up for their rights and challenge men who sought to exploit them. Mrs.
Kearney remained respectful to her husband in accordance with the societal ideals.
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