What impressions does the story give about early twentieth social customs in Ireland?

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From looking just at the characters and their motivations, you get a clear sense of the importance of money and the drive to insure a steady income for Polly, and particularly in the case of Mrs. Mooney, for her daughter.  She, in fact, is one of the strongest indicators in...

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From looking just at the characters and their motivations, you get a clear sense of the importance of money and the drive to insure a steady income for Polly, and particularly in the case of Mrs. Mooney, for her daughter.  She, in fact, is one of the strongest indicators in the story for the various mores and customs of the time as she manipulates nearly all of them in order to accomplish her goal of getting Polly married to one of the men in her boarding house, particularly one of the dependable ones with a stable job.

The power of the church, particularly in matters moral is laid out and shown by the way it drives Doran to feel that he really ought to marry Polly despite his misgivings.  The social mores of the time of course are also demonstrated by the way that Polly seduces Doran and then the pressure that can then be brought to bear on him to marry her because of their tryst.

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