Making a Life-Changing Decision

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John Davis
English 1205
Ms. Jue
Making a Life Changing Decision
In James Joyce’s short story, “Eveline”, the main character is faced with a life changing decision. Eveline, who is a young woman, has taken on the role of her deceased mother by caring and providing for her family. The daily chores she endeavors have really taken a toll on her psychological well-being. Fortunately for her, she has been given the opportunity to escape her home of Dublin with her so-called new lover, Frank. Once Eveline arrives at the station to escape her miserable life, her unsecure, self-doubting personality gets the best of her. Joyce really shocks his readers when they discover that Eveline decides to stay in Dublin and not escape with Frank. The way that Joyce created Eveline’s personality and family history allows us to make sense as to why Eveline made the decision that she did.

Eveline’s unconfident, self-doubting ways is one of the main reasons why she makes the decision to stay in Dublin. She has a very difficult time deciding what is right for her and what is right for her family. The decision of escaping to Buenos Ayres with Frank would be the right decision for her, but it would not be the right decision for her family’s wellbeing. As she sat next to the window contemplating whether or not to stay in Dublin, she held two letters in her lap. One of which was addressed to her brother, Henry, and the other to her father (McMahan et al. 6). This scene in Joyce’s story exemplifies Eveline’s unconfident and self-doubting personality. As Eveline is glancing out the window and pondering her decision while holding these letters, it is easy to notice that she not confident and very doubtful about escaping with Frank.

The relationship that Eveline had with her father is another reason why she ended up staying in Dublin. Although Eveline and her father had a reasonable relationship when her mother was alive, their relationship went downhill after her mother...
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