In his 15 short story collection of Dubliners, he explores the lives of the people in the city of Dublin. The Boarding House, being its seventh story talks about how men are entrapped in marriage in the society. All the havock in the story happens because of marriage.
Mooneys belong to an inferior social class, therefore this Mrs. Mooney, a seperated wife and the mistress of a boarding house is worried about the marriage of her unfavourable daughter, Polly. She flirts with the boarders but no one ever seems to get her seriously. So Mrs. Mooney hatches a plot to trap Doran, a reputed young man with a good class, not rakish or loud voiced like others when Polly starts to seduce him. Mother manipulates the affair.
Anyway due to social opinion, religious extremities, public perceptions Doran has to wed Polly out of love and willingness. Joyce demonstrates the theme of marriage this way. In that period, related to the city of Dublin, Marriage was more about public perceptions, formal sanctions than about feelings.