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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 23:25, December 19, 2014, from http://www.megaessays.com/viewpaper/200667.html