by James Joyce (1914)
1. How is Eveline presented in the story? Use quotation from the text to explain and justify your response. This story is a portrait of an adolescent girl in Dublin and reflects how she thinks about her domestic life in the past, in the present and the possibility of a new married life abroad. In the first paragraph, the author introduces us to the character of Eveline as “She sat at the window watching the evening invade the avenue. Her head was leaned against the window curtains and in her nostrils was the odour of dusty cretonne. She was tired.” We can see Eveline as she is watching the coming of evening and her position of head resting against the curtains, she is weary. Because of using the repetition of “she” and “her” without telling us the name of character, the author tries to give us a sense of familiarity with the person described. “Few people passed. The man out of the last house passed on his way home; she heard his footsteps clacking along the concrete pavement and afterwards crunching on the cinder path before the new red houses.” There Eveline is as an observer. The sounds of “clacking” and “crunching” give us the feelings of loneliness and isolation of Eveline. She remembers about her childhood, when she had a happier life next to her brothers and sisters: “they seemed to have been rather happy then”. “Home! She looked round the room, reviewing all its familiar objects which she had dusted once a week for so many years, wondering where on earth all the dust came from.” There we can step in Eveline’s house and her life “Of course she had to work hard, both in the house and at business” and Joyce shows us that Eveline didn’t have a wonderful and easy life. She is very confused about her decision run away with her boyfriend Frank. “People would treat her with respect then. She would not be treated as her mother had been.” One moment, Eveline feels happy to leave her hard life, to follow her beloved man with she is meeting in secret. “The white of two letters in her lap grew indistinct. One was to Harry; the other was to her father. Ernest had been her favourite but she liked Harry too. Her father was becoming old lately, she noticed; he would miss her.” Eveline grasps the letters she’s written to her father and to his brother, revealing her inability to let go of those family relationships. She was clinging to the older and more pleasant memories and imagines what other people want her to do or will do for her and she notes that she did promise to her mother to dedicate herself to the house and to the family. All these feelings of Eveline demonstrate that she is a noble person who cares about other’s feelings; she is loyal and trustworthy daughter. “A bell clanged upon her heart” symbolises uncertain feelings, she does not know if she should get on the boat. After this statement Eveline became worried, scared “All the seas of the world tumbled about her heart” she thinks to her safety in her situation, the future wouldn’t be different. “She set her white face to him, passive, like a helpless animal. Her eyes gave him no sign of love or farewell or recognition.” represents Eveline paralysis. The end of the story shows us her transformation into a robot machine without expression. She agreed to carry on with a certain and dismal future that may will repeat her mother’s sad life story.
How is Frank presented in the story?
The author of “Eveline” does not tell us too many things about Frank. We can easily see that this man is Eveline’s lover. Frank is a sailor planning to move to Buenos Aires and take his lover Eveline with him. He has told Eveline he intends to marry her, which may well be the case, but Frank is a mysterious character and there is some implication that his intentions are devious. He started his sailing career on a trade route associated with exile and full of stories about infamously savage tribes from Argentina. Also, "going to Buenos Aires" was a...
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