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Eveline review

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Introduction

Eveline. "Eveline" is set in the turn of the 20th century, around a young woman called Eveline whose future is a life trapped with her violent father because of a restricting, difficult duty to her dying mother that would give her inevitable fate. This type of life would lead he to madness: "Life of commonplace sacrifices" Stifled by Frank who is taking her to marry him & to live with him in Buenos Ayres, frank would in her eyes "Would give her life" but 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" she fails her leap of faith and so giving herself entirely to frank is impossible. "Eveline" is a short story written by James Joyce in a collection of short stories called the Dubliners, all about ordinary people with ordinary lives in Ireland at the time, This story is very similar to James Joyce's ...read more.

Middle

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 and remembers old neighbours like "the Waters" who have since escaped east "to England". She looks forward to "going away like the others". She admits she will not be missed at her job and at nineteen, without the former protection of her older brothers, she is beginning to feel "herself in danger of her father's violence" (Bedford 329). Her father takes what little money she earns and she is in charge of her two younger siblings as well. The sound of a street organ playing across the water is a reminder of her mother's death. She cannot end up like her mother, "living a life of commonplace sacrifices closing in final craziness" and her only recourse is to "escape" with Frank; "he would save her" if she goes east with him across the seas. ...read more.

Conclusion

Frank on the other hand was "very kind, manly, open-hearted", and after the "excitement" of being courted she "had begun to like him". She knows Frank can give her a new life, and "perhaps love, too" and "she had a right to happiness". 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, fulfilment and heartbreak roll about in the "seas of the world that tumbled about her heart" and this unknown world of emotional vitality and power is as Frightening to Eveline as the physical reality of sailing halfway around the world. In this realm she might drown, but she is just as likely to swim. Yet by declining "to test the waters" Eveline condemns herself to a life without emotional fulfilment at all. In the rite of passage from adolescence into adulthood, Eveline feels only that the transformation will "drown" her old self and she is unable to adequately imagine a new self-emerging from the waves. ...read more.

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