In “Eveline”, the short story from James Joyce, the author introduces us into the life and conundrum of a girl named Eveline. In this story, our main character is struggling to choose between a new life away from her roots, or staying with the remainder of her divided family. A young man named Frank , who has been courting her, and has offered to take her away back to his home in Buenos Ayres in search of a new life. However, Eveline chooses to stay in the gloomy, life sucking environment that she is already accustomed to. To better understand this bizarre choice, we must outline the reasons in which Eveline makes her choice. Due to the many attachments her past provides to her home, and her fear of the unknown with Frank, the man she thinks she loves, force Eveline to make her decision to stay.
The most significant reason that Eveline chose to stay home instead of going with Frank is her ties to the family. She has two small children to take care of, and a promise to her mother that seemingly haunts her. Eveline, being the only female after her mother’s death, has to take on the varying tasks that the woman of the household usually is responsible for. Her gender also barred her the usual beatings that her brothers would receive from their father ; “he had never gone for her, like he used to go for Harry and Ernest, because she was a girl.” The beatings made it easier to cut their ties with the family and separate themselves, unlike Eveline who is anchored to the duties of the house out of love for her passed mother.
Furthering Eveline’s reasons to stay is her mixed emotions of Frank. Joyce suggests through the story that Frank is merely a means to separate herself from the family, and be whisked away from all problems. When talking of the two Joyce uses the word “tales” when telling of Franks stories. This alone suggests that from Eveline’s perspective of Frank’s “tales” prove that she thinks them all to be made up, or fictitious...
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