29 January 2018
“Eveline” is a short novel by James Joyce about commitment and family ties. Eveline is a young woman who has to make a decision of either to commit with the promise she made to her mother before she died or the want for her freedom. In the story Eveline had to go through some obstacles many events that make her lead to her choice at the end. I believe that Eveline made her decision based on fear of change, and afraid of leaving her comfort zone. If it wasn’t for her attachment on the past over the opportunity for the future and freedom. Not only Eveline was comparing her luck in love to her mothers, afraid of the same experiences to occur to her. She said it herself “She would not be treated the same way her mother did”. She seemed so happy to leave her past life behind and finally be free to start a new life with her love, Frank. Memories of good times with her family still linger behind creating doubt, of leaving with the love of her life while leaving behind all her reasonability’s.
Eveline faces a difficult dilemma: remain at home like a dutiful daughter, or to leave Dublin with her lover, frank, who is a sailor. Frank wants her to marry him and move to live with him in Buena’s Aires, she agreed to leave with him in secret. They were in love like any other young couple. But there is always something unpleasant that occurs, where someone is opposed with the relationship which ends up being her father in this case. Her father was abusive and would mistreat Eveline’s mother. Making her live an ordinary and sad life, but remembering that passionately embraces her decision to escape the same fate by leaving with her love. Having to pick her responsibilities and fear over her freedom and lover Frank, only having a short time to arrive with a conclusion Eveline is in constant cycles of indecisiveness. Her desires are escaping with Frank, but at the last minute decides to say with the familiar routine she’s accustomed to. Even after she still finds every excuse possible to stay with her abusive father, in spite of feeling trapped in the same routine that has her feeling “like a helpless animal”.
Melancholy seems to play a big role in Eveline’s decision. I feel as even though she dreamed of this new life with Frank a sailor, away from all the viciousness she would be leaving the only thing she knew. She was to scared of the unknown, In the story she also talks about how the ladies at the store will talk about how she ran off with someone. To worried to of how others portray her instead of her happiness. When you’ve had the identical routine in your life for a while it can be quite challenging to break it but of course not impossible, but if the change was to improve your life anyone who truly wanted to better themselves and their life would move on. Eveline quoted that she did not want to end up like her mother but by staying there that is exactly what she will become, her fear had been reliving the same life her mother did, she had no clue that she was making the decision to go forward with what she was afraid of happening. Even though it was the mother’s dying wish for her to keep the family together and to fulfill the responsibilities of what her mother left behind.
Eveline was like any other young woman who was in love and capable of doing the absolute most for her lover. Her leaving to Buenes Aires could’ve been a great opportunity to escape from her life and start a new with the boy she loves. She should have left with him because she will no longer have to feel anxiety from her father or feel disrespected. Staying there will keep holding her from her past. Eveline needs to move on with her life. I feel that she made the decision to stay because she felt guilty that she wasn’t going to keep her promise to her dead mother. If she didn’t remember about the promise she made she would with no doubt leave with Frank. Her mother stated to Eveline to stay as long as she can with her family, but her limit of fulfilling her mother’s desires could’ve came to an end and she could’ve left with Frank and begin a new chapter in her life with her love.
I do believe that Eveline made the wrong decision. Despite the fact that she made a promise to her mother before her death; she hadn’t thought about it till last minute. Although I also believe she kept her promise in a way ” Strange that it should come that very night to remind her of the promise to her mother, the promise to keep the home together as long as she could.” She did just that, she kept it together till it was time for her to make a life of herself. Her father abused the boys and threaten her that he would do the same to her if she wasn’t a girl. She basically stayed for guilt. I believe that Eveline made her decision based on fear of change, and afraid of leaving her comfort zone. I do believe that Eveline made the wrong decision, if it wasn’t for her attachment on her past she would’ve chosen the opportunity for the future and freedom.