Essay on Farrington's Character Analysis from Joyce's Counterparts

1063 Words Jan 22nd, 2012 5 Pages
Farrington’s character:-

Farrington, in The Counterparts, is unquestionably one of the most maligned characters who inhabit the short stories that comprise Joyce’s Dubliners. The infamous conclusion of Counterparts in which Farrington viciously beats his helpless son with a walking stick after returning from a frustrating day at work and the pubs seem for some to be more than adequate reasoning for his condemnation. If not, the description of his son begging him to stop and offering to say a “Hail Mary” for his sinful father, seems to clinch the response. However, it is extremely important to remember that Farrington is sinned against as well as sinning: that he is a product as well as a perpetrator of the paralysis of Dublin. Like
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In the hour leading up ti his brutal attack, Farrington suffers multiple defeats all of which are notably at the hands of the British or those loyal to Britain, magnifying his impuissant standing. Farrington’s first defeat in Counterparts comes at the hands of his boss Mr Alleyne, who has a “piercing North of Ireland accent”. Though he is Irish, Alleyne’s northern accent means that in all probability he would be in favour of Protestantism and English rule and therefore an agent of the oppressor. In response, Farrington’s “body ached to do something, to rush out and revel in violence. All the indignities of his life enraged him…” Clearly, Joyce’s use of the ellipsis indicates that these unnamed indignities go beyond merely those described in the narrative and surely include the plight of his home-life and that of his subjugated nation. Farrington’s next defeats come in the pub at the hands of the British acrobat and artiste Weathers. The financially strapped Farrington, who had pawned his watch to fund that evening’s drinking, reluctantly stands two rounds of Weathers’ expensive, imported “whiskey and Apollinaris” and later “Farrington was just standing another round when Weathers came back”. The allegory here between

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