The Dust Of The Curtains Essay examples

The Dust Of The Curtains Essay examples

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In the beginning of the short story, Eveline, “look[ing] around the room, reviewing all its familiar objects which she dusted once a week for many years” exemplified how she was too busy to tend to most of the household chores because she is occupied managing and taking care of others (Joyce, par. 1). Eveline ponders on what life would be like to never again see those familiar objects. She has become one of the many products in her home to never change. Eveline now has the responsibilities that her mother once had but, is afraid that she too might live a sad life and die lonely if she stays in Dublin. Eveline sits in the window thinking about her childhood with “her nostrils [filling with] the odor of dusty cretonne” (par. 2). The dust symbolizes Eveline’s unchanging life and the many responsibilities she surrounds herself with. The author gives the idea that “the dust of the curtains is not simply ‘in her nostrils’; she actively inhales it” (Hart, par. 4). Normally, dust is found in places that are untouched and forgotten, and in Eveline’s situation, it denotes her dreary and mournful life.
In multiple scenes of the story “Eveline,” Eveline finds herself in the state of paralysis. Thinking back on her past, she realizes that she is one of the only ones from her childhood left in Dublin. The window is an emphasis on Eveline’s emotions and her life growing up, always on the inside looking out. Eveline sitting near the window “watching the evening invade the avenue” symbolizes her reflection on her happy childhood and her also having to make a life changing decision (Joyce, par. 1). Metaphorically, the use of the word “invade” personifies the evening, giving a sense of intruding or imprisonment. Joyce’s use of this technique sugge...


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...h is her escape from pain” (Joyce, par. 12). Similarly, Eveline believes that Frank might be her death, ideating that “he would drown her” (par. 12). Although Eveline feels that leaving with Frank would be the best for her, she is unsure that leaving her familiar surroundings and abusive culture would suit her emotionally.
Before Eveline decides between departing with Frank or staying in Dublin, she writes two farewell letters. As she holds onto the letters, she recollects the memories of her father “read[ing] her out a ghost story and [making] toast for her at the fire” (par. 9).The two white letters “[grow] indistinct,” signifying that her father has “entered a stage of eclipse” (San Juan, par. 9). Her once-abusive father now shows care and consideration. Times like these bring Eveline reminiscing on how her father has potential to be a good man and a good father.

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