A person’s history can often determine his/her future. Some stories in “Dubliners” use the character’s history as a way of defining their actions. An example of this would be the story “Eveline.”
Eveline’s story is about a girl stuck in Dublin with an okay life, but when the chance to escape occurs she doesn’t leave. The paralysis shown at the end of this story reflects back to Eveline’s history. Eveline has been in Dublin her whole life, so she is ignorant to anything that is outside of Dublin. When the chance arises for Eveline to leave on the boat she is hit by paralysis. She doesn’t move forward to go on the adventure she has wanted. It is Eveline’s history that paralyzes her. Eveline has the fear that she will end up like her mother, which she doesn’t want. She also knows what Dublin is like and has a daily routine there. Eveline relies too much on her history when at the dock, which is why she would not go on the boat.
Eveline was the prime example of how one’s history relates to his/her paralysis. Joyce showed that history can be a crutch that shouldn’t be leaned on. He said “history is a nightmare form which I am trying to awake,” showing that history can be something terrifying and not lingering in the past can awaken a person. Even appeared to begin awakening on the dock, but by not going on the boar she fell into her nightmare.