Dubliners: Morals and meat Cleavers

As I was reading James Joyce’s short story collection Dubliners this evening, I came across a brilliant simile in the story “The Boarding House.” One of the characters is described  this way: “She dealt with moral problems as a cleaver deals with meat.”


It is such a vivid simile. Immediately a picture of a cleaver bludgeoning a chunk of meat entered my mind. Whack! This picture is fabulous when juxtaposed with the concept of a moral dilemma. It seems Mrs. Mooney believes she can pummel any moral problem out of existence. I won’t give the plot away, but her actions follow this description really well.


James Joyce is simply a brilliant writer. Dubliners is terrific and I look forward to reviewing it soon!



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