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EVELINE

James Joyce's Eveline was originally published in his short story
collection called Dubliners. As the name suggests the story revolves around
a young woman named Eveline who is torn between her past and her potential
future life not knowing which to choose. The themes of sexuality and gender
dominate the story as Eveline is shown trapped in a patriarchic society and
the only hope for escape is marriage. This sheds light on the general
thinking of men and women in modernist society. Women were usually
mistreated or accorded less respect than they deserved and this is what
happens to Eveline. Every young woman then grew up believing that marriage
would save her from all her troubles. James Joyce explores this issue
carefully to illustrate the flaws in such thinking and the reasons why most
women consider marriage an answer to all their troubles. The problem with
Eveline is that on the one hand, she wants to escape her present life that
was defined by her father's violent temper and her monotonous job at the
Stores, on the other she also lacks courage to change her life primarily
because of fear. The decision of Eveline to not leave her home and familiar
objects can be both praised and condemned because it is based on two
things, rational thinking and fear. The fact that Eveline "prayed to God to
direct her, to show her what was her duty." (Joyce 331) shows that women
are conditioned to pout duty before love and a better life. They are made
to believe that they must make sacrifices for the sake of others and must
not think about their owjn wishes and desires as that is considered
selfish. After carefully weighing the pros and cons of her decision,
Eveline realizes that her chief reason for marrying Frank was a desire to
escape her present circumstances and thus she decides not to run away at
the very last minute. On the other hand, her decision is also motivated by
fear of her father and her lack of courage. Jame...

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EVELINE. (1969, December 31). In DirectEssays.com. Retrieved 17:48, September 02, 2015, from http://www.megaessays.com/viewpaper/200667.html