* Portraying Irish Working-Class Women in Love:
The Consequences of Patriarchy in Roddy Doyle’s The Woman Who Walked into Doors
Diana Diaz Bautista
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona June 2013
in the Celtic Tiger period of the 90’s Roddy Doyle presents the story of Paula
Spencer, the main character and narrator of The Woman Who Walked into Doors (1996). Paula is presented as a marginalised character. She is the mother of four children, an alcoholic, long-term unemployed and battered by her husband Charlo. Doyle uses Paula as a means to convey the voice of Irish working-class women in a society where capitalism has been largely established and accepted. It is my aim to consider Roddy Doyle’s narrative difficulties as a male author in writing a novel about a battered working-class woman, mostly without education and an alcoholic. In this sense, I will analyze the way in which Doyle turns Paula, a woman without a voice and without means to write her own story, into a plausible character. In this sense, love, shaped by a patriarchal Irish culture and society, is crucial to understand Paula’s relationship with her abusive husband. The paper will examine thus, the contextual factors that allow spousal abuse to exist and emphasize the way society becomes accomplice of these kinds of tragedies.
Introduction First with the The Commitments (1988), The Snapper (1990) and The Van (1991), in what is known as The Barrytown Trilogy and afterwards with Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha
2 Diaz Bautista · Portraying Irish Working-Class Women in Love
(1993), The Woman Who Walked into Doors (1996) and A Star Called Henry (1999), Roddy Doyle has contributed much to Irish Literature by portraying Ireland’s workingclass people and culture. In relation to this topic, he also wrote the TV series Family (1994) where Paula Spencer, a marginalised woman, mother of four children, an alcoholic, long-term unemployed and battered by her husband, appeared for the first...