“Eveline”- An Opportunity That Was Let Go
“Eveline” is a short story out of the collection called the “Dubliners”, wrote by James Joyce. Joyce has written fifteen stories within “Dubliners”, all in which seem to follow the same pattern. Each story has it's own plot image. There tends to be four stages, that the plot goes through during each story; childhood, adolescence, mature life and public life. Joyce uses these stages as a symbolic representation. In this story of “Eveline,” a teenager is faced with two choices. She can either continue to live with her father or run away with her love, Frank. The demands of Eveline's family takes lead over romantic involvement.
The story begins with Eveline sitting at a window. Years ago there used to be a field there where she would play with other children. She was reminiscing back to her childhood when she felt as everything was perfect. As a child, Eveline lived in a world much different than the one she lives in now, a much happier time in her life where innocence was all she knew. Now Eveline and her brothers are all grown up. In the story, Eveline's family doesn't live a very comfortable life and seems to be poor, always arguing over money. Eveline gives the impression of a scared, uncertain young lady. Being only nineteen, she has dealt with many detriments. She takes on many responsibilities because her mother died at a young age. Eveline had many masks to wear, many shoes to fill, and many people to please. She did not want to let anybody down. Eveline comes from a Catholic family. Her brother, Harry, was in the church decorating business. There was a picture mantled in her family's living room of a priest who had been a school friend of her father. Eveline's mother wanted her to become the dutiful daughter and keep the house: “Strange that it should come that very night to remind her of the promise to her mother, her promise to keep the home together as long as she could. She remembered the last...
Cited: Joyce, Stanislaus. “James Joyce”. Short Story Criticism: Experts from Criticism of the Works of Short Fiction Writers. Ed. Sheila, Fitzgerald. 1989
Bidwell, Bruce. “The Joycean way: a topographical guide to “Dubliners” & “A portrait of the aritsit as a young man.” Baltimore, MD.: John Hopkins UP 1982
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