“Eveline” by James Joyce
James Joyce’s “Eveline” was published in a collection, Dubliners, London (1914). It is a short story about a young lady with intentions to run away from home with her lover named Frank. Eveline, the lady of the story, wants to leave for Buenos Aires in an attempt to escape her depressing situation.
The 19 year-old girl’s thoughts about her life and her past are the major part of the short story as she sits by a window at home. Her father is a cruel man who used to beat up his brothers. Although it is not clear if he has beaten her, he threatens her with violence. The father used to mistreat her mother. Some of the neighbours’ children she used to play with have moved away. One of her brothers is dead and the other does business in the country but keeps sending money to the father. She is forced to give her income to the father and is the surrogate mother to two children. She does not like her job.
She met Frank at Dublin while he was staying in a lodge. They have dated her for a while; he is nice to her and makes a lot of promises. However, her father is disapproving of him. It is not clear what Frank’s intentions are but Eveline thinks he is good for her. She weighs her options whether to stay with her abusive father or leave with Frank. Before her mother died she promised her that she would take care of their house in her absence. She also recounts how her father would be nice at times. At the station from which they should depart she decides not to go with him. Frank is given no farewell and her face shows no emotion.
Eveline is frustrated maybe depressed; she is forced to choose between taking care of the family and moving away to start afresh. From the start of the short story, she is really suffering. She is afraid of the father who keeps threatening and bullying her. The emotional abuse she receives now or violence she suffered as a child is evident in her as an adult. The father would come looking for her and her siblings with a thorn stick whenever they went playing as children. The father still denies his family a normal life because he takes their money. Eveline is feeling trapped and it’s one of the reasons that she decides not to leave is because she is afraid of the future. She lacks the courage and spirit to make a choice. She doubts Frank and she doubts herself. She sees no evil in staying with the abusive father. She is preoccupied about how her life used to be e.g. how the father was rarely nice; how the playing field was bought by someone who built houses on it.
Example Of Essay On “Eveline” by James Joyce
“Eveline” by James Joyce
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