The story recounts an evening in the life of a man named Farrington, frequently referred to simply as "the man". Alleyne" — berates him for not having finished an assignment. Instead of applying himself immediately to the task, the alcoholic Farrington slips out of the office for a quick [ dubious — discuss ] "g. When Alleyne yells at Farrington again, Farrington replies with an impertinent remark and has to apologize. After work, Farrington joins his friends at various pubs, but only after he pawns his watch-chain for drinking money. However, his revelries end in two humiliations: a perceived slight by an elegant young woman and defeat in an arm-wrestling contest.
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Humiliated by his boss Mr. Alleyne at the law firm in which he works, a copy clerk named Farrington pawns his watch and spends the money on a night of drinking in Dublin pubs.
Afterward, he goes to his house in the suburbs, where he vents his rage by beating one of his five children Tom. The line "He had done for himself in the office, pawned his watch, spent all his money; and he had not even got drunk" sums up Farrington's pervasive impotence. The beating of his young son in the story's final scene dramatizes his relationship to his children and, probably, his wife. Like "Eveline," this story shows how intractable Irish paralysis seemed to Joyce — impossible to ameliorate, much less escape altogether.
As ever, the author subtly holds the English and the Roman Catholic Church accountable. Farrington's coworkers at the law firm of Crosbie and Alleyne all have English or at least non-Irish names Parker, Higgins, Shelley, Delacour , the woman who snubs him in the back room at O'Halloran's says "Pardon!
More than in any Dubliners story yet, Ireland seems here to be a country under extended occupation by foreigners. In the last scene of "Counterparts," Farrington's son reports that Mrs. Farrington is "out at the chapel. The seeds, when chewed, were thought to hide the smell of alcohol, and thus were offered to customers by turn-of-the-century Dublin bars. Previous A Little Cloud. Next Clay. Removing book from your Reading List will also remove any bookmarked pages associated with this title.
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Counterparts (short story)
He had a hanging face, dark wine-coloured, with fair eyebrows and moustache. Indeed, the use of antithesis allow Joyce to show the antagonism between two contrasted world the paralysed Dublin and the energetic world outside Ireland. Dubliners Study Guide. Search this site.
Dubliners Summary and Analysis of Counterparts
The bell rang furiously and, when Miss Parker went to the tube, a furious voice called out in a piercing North of Ireland accent:. The man muttered " Blast him! When he stood up he was tall and of great bulk. He had a hanging face, dark wine-coloured, with fair eyebrows and moustache: his eyes bulged forward slightly and the whites of them were dirty. He lifted up the counter and, passing by the clients, went out of the office with a heavy step.