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Eveline is a short story by James Joyce about responsibility and family ties. Eveline is an adolescent who has to make a choice between the promise she made to her dead mother and her need for freedom.

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Introduction

"Eveline" is a short story by James Joyce about responsibility and family ties. Eveline is an adolescent who has to make a choice between the promise she made to her dead mother and her need for freedom. Throughout the story Eveline faces and recalls many events that lead to her decision in the end. Joyce uses character development, symbolism, repletion and irony to support his theme of moral and spiritual paralysis. There is no significant change in Eveline's character over the course of the story. Joyce does an excellent job showing how Eveline's character is paralyzed. For example, in the beginning of the story, Joyce states that Eveline sat at the window watching the day go by (Joyce 29). This is important because it shows that Eveline is aware that life is about changes, yet she remains inside and does the same routine. Then an opportunity arises when Frank, her lover, tells Eveline if she would like to leave to Buenos Ayres. ...read more.

Middle

Furthermore, two symbols that emphasize the instability of the home or Eveline's spiritual paralysis are the priest and Margaret Mary Alacoque. In the beginning of the story when she is looking at a print of Mary Alacoque, which is an Irish symbol that represents protection and goodness, Eveline starts to become hesitant about leaving her home. At the same time she also notices a photograph of the priest, she does not know his name, but she knows he left the country and that he has been forgotten (Joyce 29). This makes her wonder if she will be forgotten as well. This shows her fear of leaving a setting that she knows well. Moreover, when she is given the opportunity to make a life changing decision, she fails. When Frank is telling her to move, she becomes emotionally paralyzed, unable to make a decision. ...read more.

Conclusion

Also, Joyce is able to use repetition to further emphasize the theme of the story. For example, in the beginning of the story, he uses key words "in her nostrils was the odour of dusty cretonne," to illustrate the setting of the story. Later on in the story he repeats the word "dust" when Eveline is looking at the room that she repeatedly dusted for so many years (Joyce 29). The repetition of dust gives it an important significance, a promise that Eveline made to her dead mother. Thus, through repetition the reader is able to understand Joyce's them of paralysis. This is because repetition shows that Eveline is afraid of change, and that she is more comfortable doing a routine that she already knows. As a result the use of these literary tools gives a deeper understanding of Eveline and the paralysis that the people of Ireland experience. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 Lory Leon Eveline ...read more.

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