In both “Eveline” by James Joyce and “Hills like White Elephants” by Ernest Hemmingway, the characters are forced to make important life changing decisions. This is just one of the many similarities between stories. One thing that was obvious to me while reading each of these short stories was the presence of a dominant male antagonist in each story; The father in “Eveline” and the American in “Hills like White Elephants.” These two characters have many of the same traits and motives. Another thing these two stories have in common is the how the setting of each story affects the storyline directly. The authors portray these, along with many other concerts, in great detail throughout each story.
In “Eveline” the main character has a huge decision to make. Eveline has recently met a man and is faced with the decision to run away with him, or to stay and take care of her family. A promise Eveline makes to her mother before her passing is keeping her from running away with Frank. However Eveline’s father also plays a major part in why Eveline is so indecisive about leaving. Eveline’s father is an example of an antagonist in this story. Her father forbids Eveline to see Frank; this is shown by her father saying, “I know these sailor chaps” (5). With a history of abuse, Eveline is afraid to go against her fathers will. This fear is shown by the statement, “Even now…, she sometimes felt herself in danger of her father’s violence” (3-4).
Although this is a critical reason she is worried about running away with Frank, this also make her desire for a new begging even stronger. Eveline longs for the respect she once saw her mother receive, and she believes she does...
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...rces them to realize their true character. These decisions challenge their strength, and give them the opportunity to have control of their own lives. Having control to make their own decision is a new experience for both characters. Each story included a dominant male antagonist, whom both Eveline and Jig must stand up to in order to determine which path is the right choice for them.
These concepts along with many others help to make up the similar theme of independence and self-worth in each of these pieces.
Joyce, James. “Eveline.” Literature and the Writing Process. Ed. Elizabeth McMahan, Susan X
Day, and Robert Funk. 10 ed. Boston: Pearson, 2014. 3-7. Print.
Joyce, James. “Hills Like White Elephants.” Literature and the Writing Process. Ed. Elizabeth
McMahan, Susan X Day, and Robert Funk. 10 ed. Boston: Pearson, 2014. 276-279.
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