Prof. Alan Hickman
Literary Analysis Paper
03 Apr. 2012
“Eveline” by James Joyce
Through our lives we find ourselves in different situations and places and under the effect of variety and diversity. Following the human nature we always struggle for more, for something better, for something more valuable, but on that path we usually are brought in front of crossroads, which will determine our next stage of life. In a same crossroad is brought the main character in the story by James Joyce, “Eveline.” It is a story of young love, which talks about a 19 year-old-girl named Eveline. She faces the most important and difficult decision in her life. Sitting at the window she thinks of her childhood and the time when her family was together. Now the family has only two members, her father and her. Her mother and her brother Ernest are dead and her other brother Harry lives far away. He needs to work in order to earn some money and keep his business alive. Her old father makes her work at a store and then takes all her wages. He used to beat his sons, but lately he has started threatening Eveline. Ironically Joyce shows the reader that her father does not respect his daughter does not appreciate her sacrifices. He has “begun to threaten her and say what he’d do to her only for her dead mother’s sake” (lines 55-56). With her brothers gone, Eveline does not have anyone to protect her.
Dreaming about a new life, full of happiness, joy and love, she thinks to escape with a sailor named Frank, who lives in Buenos Aires. At this point she thinks of her mother and the life her mother had, which could be described as a “life of commonplace sacrifices closing in final craziness” (127-128). Eveline does not want to have the life her mother had, she does not want to be treated like her mother was. Then, Eveline thinks about the promise she made to her mother before she died. She promised her mother that she would take care of the family and would try to