English Coursework: Post 1900 Prose
‘Eveline’ by James Joyce
Discus: The dilemma Eveline faced in the story
Why, at the end of the story, she did not leaver with Frank
Whether she made the right decision
Eveline is a nineteen-year-old girl living in Ireland with her father and two younger children. Her mother and one of her older brothers have died and she has another older brother who works away from home. Eveline works in a store but also does all the housework and looks after the children. One day she met a young sailor called Frank and later became attracted to him. Her father finds out about this and forbids her to see Frank but Eveline and Frank planned to leave for Buenos Aires, where Frank lived, and run away together. At the end of the story, Eveline decides not to leave with Frank…
We know that Eveline really likes Frank and that Frank really likes Eveline but the word love is never mentioned in the story. Frank is very cultured and like music a lot and this is very different from Eveline’s father as Frank would have had to of been quite wealthy to have taken Eveline out to the theatre in ,”an unaccustomed part of the theatre,” meaning that Frank had paid for expensive seats, Eveline felt, ”elated.” Eveline was attracted to Frank when she first met him by, ”his face of bronze,” and how, ” his hair tumbled forward.” Frank is also described as, “very kind, manly, open-hearted.” When Frank asks Eveline to go to Buenos Aires with him she is excited because Frank tells her, “tales of distant countries,” and about, “the Straits of Magellan and he told her stories of the terrible Patagonians.”
Eveline’s relationship with her father is very different from hers with Frank. Her father is very mean with his money and Eveline usually has to squabble with her father to get weekly provisions. “Saturday nights had begun to weary her unspeakably,...