Eveline Fear of the Unknown

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Eveline

Life is all about choices. Some choices are easy and some require a lot of thought. In James Joyce’s short story “Eveline” we read about the life of a young woman named Eveline faced with a decision. To stay in familiarity of her current situation even though she endures a hard life, or pursue independence and adventure offered by her love interest, Frank. Proving, that even though there is something better out there for her, she’d rather stay with her familiar lifestyle. Sometimes the fear of the unknown is too great that we allow ourselves to think our current situation is adequate making it hard for Eveline to make her final decision, abandon family obligations and hope for improvement.

In order to have change occur, a decision needs to be made, even though there may be some pros and cons. In the text it gives evidence that Eveline’s family has had history with leaving home “Everything changes. Now she was going to go away like the others, to leave her home” (4). Eveline at this point in the story contemplates her reasons to leave. Her mother died, one of her brothers died and the other moved away for work leaving the three small children, her father and herself at home. We have reason to believe that she shouldn’t hesitate leaving her father. He’s an alcoholic and constantly threatens Eveline into staying, “When they were growing up he had never gone for her, like he used to go for Harry and Ernest, because she was a girl; but latterly he had begun to threaten her and say what he would do to her only for her dead mother’s sake” (4). He had scared her to the point that “She knew it was that that had given her the palpitations” (4). Leaving would be the best solution for Eveline she is nineteen and deserves to search for a better life, a life of her own. In spit of the threats and fear of her father’s presence, something draws her to stay. She is comfortable in her home, in her hometown, she knows the people and “She knew the air” (6). It...
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