Like "Araby," "Eveline" is a story of young love, but unlike Mangan's sister, Eveline has already been courted and won by Frank, who is taking her away to marry him and "to live with him in Buenos Ayres" (49). Or has she? When she meets him at the station and they are set to board the ship, Eveline suddenly decides she cannot go with Frank, because "he would drown her" in "all the seas of the world" (51). But Eveline's rejection of Frank is not just a rejection of love, but also a rejection of a new life abroad and escape from her hard life at home. And water, as the practical method of escape, as well as a symbol of both rejuvenation and emotional vitality, functions in a multi-faceted way to show all that Eveline loses through her fear and lack of courage. By not plunging into those "seas of the world that tumble[d] about her heart" (51), Eveline forsakes escape, life, and love for the past, duty, and death.
Like many of the stories in Dubliners, moving eastward in "Eveline" is associated with new life. But for Eveline, sailing eastward with Frank is as much an escape as a promise of something better. From the story's opening, she is passive and tired (46) and remembers old neighbors like "the Waters" who have since escaped east "to England" (47). She looks forward to "going... away like the others" (47). She admits she will not be missed at her job (47) and at nineteen, without the former protection of her older brothers, she is beginning to feel "herself in danger of her father's violence" (48). Her father takes what little money she earns and she is in charge of her two younger siblings as well (48). The sound of a street organ playing an Italian tune is both a call to her fr...
... middle of paper ...
...e, and "perhaps love, too" and "she had a right to happiness" (50). Yet Eveline is not certain she will find love with Frank, just as she doesn't know what kind of life they will have together. The adult world of desire, longing, fulfillment, and heartbreak roil about in "the seas of the world that tumbled about her heart" (51) and this unknown world of emotional vitality and power is as frightening to Eveline as the physical reality of sailing halfway round the world. In this realm she might drown, yes, but she might just as likely learn to swim. Yet by declining "to test the waters" Eveline condemns herself to a life without emotional fulfillment at all. In the rite of passage from adolescence into adulthood, Eveline feels only that the transformative experience will "drown" her old self and she is unable to adequately imagine a new self emerging from the waves.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- An Irish Quandary in James Joyce's Dubliners James Joyce's "Eveline" is one of fifteen short stories in her novel, Dubliners. It was written during the British oppression of Ireland and therefore was not published until nine years after its completion. "Eveline" tells the story of a young adult named Eveline, who is having difficulty choosing between: leaving her family for a new life and staying, to protect her younger siblings and keep the household together. This story depicts the inner turmoil felt by anyone making a similar decision.... [tags: Dubliners Joyce]
1427 words (4.1 pages)
- Family Decisions in "Eveline" In growing up there is never a day that goes by when we do not have to make a decision. While making these decisions, we are influenced by our family and friends. In James Joyce's "Eveline," the family structure is important in the decision making abilities Eveline possesses. Eveline's choice whether to go with her lover Frank to Buenos Ayres is not her own, but rather is one greatly determined by her family. Because her family is dysfunctional, Eveline is also dysfunctional, and she is not able to leave her unhealthy home environment for a new life with Frank.... [tags: Dubliners Essays]
846 words (2.4 pages)
- The Theme of Escape in James Joyce’s Dubliners In James Joyce’s Dubliners, the theme of escape tends to be a trend when characters are faced with critical decisions. Joyce’s novel presents a bleak and dark view of Ireland; his intentions by writing this novel are to illustrate people’s reasons to flee Ireland. In the stories “Eveline, “Counterparts”, and the “Dead”, characters are faced with autonomous decisions that shape their lives. This forlorn world casts a gloomy shadow over the characters of these stories.... [tags: Eveline Counterparts Dead Dubliners]
1058 words (3 pages)
- No Emotional Fulfillment in Eveline "Eveline" is a story of young love. Eveline has already been courted and won by frank, who is taking her to marry him and "to live with him in Buenos Ayres" (Hacker 329). Or has she. When she meets him at the station and they are set to boars the ship, Eveline suddenly decides she cannot go with Frank because "he would drown her" in "all the seas of the world" (Hacker 329). Eveline's rejection of Frank is not just a rejection of love, but also a rejection of a new life abroad and escape from her hard life at home.... [tags: Dubliners Essays]
856 words (2.4 pages)
- ... The most obvious similarity is the conclusion they both come to. By the end of the stories, both men realize that up until that point, they were never able to truly love someone. The ending of both stories leaves the reader with the impression that neither man is interested in changing. In the final scene of “The Dead,” the narrator says, “It hardly pained him [Gabriel] now to think how poor a part he, her husband, had played in her life,” (Joyce, 240). “A Painful Case”, on the other hand, ends with the comment that Mr.... [tags: Dubliners, James Joyce, Epiphany, The Dead]
1188 words (3.4 pages)
- An Examination of Eveline In James Joyce’s “Dubliners”, Eveline is undoubtedly one of the more captivating characters. She was forced into the role of housewife after the death of her mother. Her father’s abusive nature and along with these new responsibilities leaves Eveline in a struggle to find meaning in her life and to overcome her existential vacuum and a fear of change. However, Eveline is unable to overcome her anticipatory anxiety. Instead of deciding, she becomes a victim of her own paralysis as she stands completely still and silent as if she was mentally absent.... [tags: Character Analysis: Eveline]
729 words (2.1 pages)
- Eveline: Trapped by Guilt The story "Eveline," by James Joyce is one of indescribable loyalty and extreme choices. Two themes dominate the story: everything good must end, and it is the victim of abuse that often feels guilt. The guilt that Eveline feels forces her to make choices that trap her into a pitiful existence. The setting of "Eveline" is a typical Irish town. Eveline’s mother is dead and her father, though living, has a less than stellar character. He is abusive towards her two brothers and constantly threatens her.... [tags: Dubliners Essays]
1284 words (3.7 pages)
- In the collection of short stories in “Dubliners,” James Joyce introduces a mosaic of the day-to-day lives of working class Irishmen and their personal struggles with the pre-independent societal and personal restrictions of Victorian England. The characters of Little Chandler, Eveline, Maria, and Farrington symbolize the specific components of the kaleidoscopic Irish population and their universal tendency to stay contained within the limits of the current time period and within the limitations of their society.... [tags: Literary Analysis]
2224 words (6.4 pages)
- "Epiphany" refers to a showing-forth, a manifestation. For Joyce, however, it means a sudden revelation of the ¡°whatness of a thing¡±. Joyce's tales about Dublin portray impotence, frustration and death. Their meaning is provided not so much by plot but by the epiphanies. Aiming either to illustrate an instant of self-realization in the characters themselves, or to raise the trivial existence of his characters to a level of conscious significance for the reader. The figures inside the story whom are rapped by their environment are shown the truth about their lives, whereas readers are shown the whole process which, in its turn, becomes an epiphany for them.... [tags: essays research papers]
507 words (1.4 pages)
- Dubliners and The Living Dead In his work "The Dead," James Joyce utilizes his character Michael Furey, Gretta Conroy's deceased love from her youth, as an apparent symbol of how the dead have a steadfast and continuous power over the living. The dominant power which Michael maintains over the protagonist, Gabriel Conroy, is that Gabriel is faced with the intense question of whether his wife, Gretta Conroy, loves him and whether he honestly loves her. Joyce provides substantial information to persuade one to believe that Gabriel does truly love his wife. Even though it is made evident to the reader that Gabriel possesses such devotion and adoration for Gretta, Michael diverts Gab... [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]
1185 words (3.4 pages)