Eveline - James Joyce (Short Personal Response)

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“Eveline”, is a story about a 19 year old girl who diligently reflects on the life she has had residing in the same town (in Dublin) with her siblings, everyone she knows, and her abusive father whom she labours excessively for to support. This is the same town her mother died in that she now anticipates leaving for Buenos Ayres, with her fiancé Frank.

The story of Eveline, by James Joyce, handles many interconnected themes such as attachments, escape and identity, which employs great attention to a specific situation that is relatable to almost everyone: the time to leave home. Though Eveline’s acting outlets resemble those prominent to my own, what interests me the most about her story is her overbearing dilemma to either leave a hard, yet full and interesting life, for an easy and safe, though mundane one. The reason this grabs my attention is because, I’ve often pondered about why it would be so hard for me to leave my own strenuous and distressing home, and my exasperating mother that has caused me so many detriments. This curiosity has led me to believe that the harder one has had to work at home to make things work, regardless of the results, the more interesting their history becomes and the stronger their attachment to that life becomes. For anyone that has been in such a situation, it becomes clear frequently, how big of a part this life is to you and that through the struggles you have learned everything that you now know, and this life is the only one you do know. Something less than ‘this life’ may leave someone, such as Eveline, feeling useless and lost, possibly causing them to spin out of control searching for meaning and value in a new life that seems too simple.

The reader sees this progression for Eveline as the story starts with her rested against the window where she goes to reflect not only on her self, but the relationship to the place which she sits whilst the evening rolls in. James Joyce wonderfully illustrates that, “the evening...
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