In “Eveline”, the character Eveline is a 19-year old female who is about to leave home and marry the man that she has fallen in love with. Frank, her fiancé, had courted her for some time before the story began. Frank would escort Eveline home from her job every night that he was able to, and would serenade her with sweet songs and nicknames. In “Eveline”, Frank is associated with freedom. Joyce states, “Escape! She must escape! Frank would save her. He would give her life, perhaps love, too. But she wanted to live. Why should she be unhappy? She had a right to happiness. Frank would take her in his arms, fold her in his arms. He would save her” (24). By extension, the story associates love with freedom, and the wonderful life that can exist when one is freed by love.
Despite the freedom being offered by Frank, “Eveline” begins with Eveline feeling nostalgic about h...
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...f her husband’s death and is filled with joy. She sees the freedom that his death has given her, and understands the restrictions that were placed upon her life by his love. She is so happy about this freedom, that when it is taken away from her, it actually kills her. The two stories are able to examine the complex nature of death and love, and how they can mean very different things depending upon the situation and the people who are involved in the situation. The striking similarity found within the two stories is that love is not strong enough to outweigh other factors such as freedom and guilt. The notion that love conquers all is completely lost in these stories, and thoughts of personal freedom, happiness, and responsibility take a more important role to the female characters involved. This take on love reveals the complexity of female life in the early 1900s.
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