Andrea MacedoMs.

MetcalfeComposition 229 January 2018                                               Responsibilityvs. Freedom in “Eveline ”            “Eveline” is a short novel by James Joyce aboutcommitment and family ties. Eveline is a young woman who has to make a decisionof either to commit with the promise she made to her mother before she died orthe want for her freedom.       In thestory Eveline had to go through some obstacles many events that make her leadto her choice at the end. I believe that Eveline made her decision based onfear of change, and afraid of leaving her comfort zone. If it wasn’t for her attachmenton the past over the opportunity for the future and freedom. Not only Evelinewas comparing her luck in love to her mothers, afraid of the same experiencesto occur to her. She said it herself “She would not be treated the same way hermother did”.

She seemed so happy to leave her past life behind and finally befree to start a new life with her love, Frank. Memories of good times with herfamily still linger behind creating doubt, of leaving with the love of her lifewhile leaving behind all her reasonability’s.             Eveline faces a difficult dilemma: remain at home like adutiful 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, sheagreed to leave with him in secret. They were in love like any other youngcouple. But there is always something unpleasant that occurs, where someone isopposed with the relationship which ends up being her father in this case. Herfather was abusive and would mistreat Eveline’s mother.

Making her live anordinary and sad life, but remembering that passionately embraces her decisionto escape the same fate by leaving with her love. Having to pick herresponsibilities and fear over her freedom and lover Frank, only having a shorttime to arrive with a conclusion Eveline is in constant cycles ofindecisiveness. Her desires are escaping with Frank, but at the last minutedecides to say with the familiar routine she’s accustomed to. Even after shestill finds every excuse possible to stay with her abusive father, in spite offeeling trapped in the same routine that has her feeling “like a helplessanimal”. Melancholy seems to play a big role inEveline’s decision. I feel as even though she dreamed of this new life withFrank a sailor, away from all the viciousness she would be leaving the onlything she knew. She was to scared of the unknown, In the story she also talksabout 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’vehad the identical routine in your life for a while it can be quite challengingto break it but of course not impossible, but if the change was to improve yourlife 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 stayingthere that is exactly what she will become, her fear had been reliving the samelife her mother did, she had no clue that she was making the decision to goforward with what she was afraid of happening. Even though it was the mother’sdying wish for her to keep the family together and to fulfill theresponsibilities of what her mother left behind.                        Eveline was like any other young woman who was in love andcapable of doing the absolute most for her lover. Her leaving to Buenes Airescould’ve been a great opportunity to escape from her life and start a new withthe boy she loves. She should have left with him because she will no longerhave to feel anxiety from her father or feel disrespected. Staying there willkeep holding her from her past. Eveline needs to move on with her life.

I feelthat she made the decision to stay because she felt guilty that she wasn’tgoing to keep her promise to her dead mother. If she didn’t remember about thepromise she made she would with no doubt leave with Frank. Her mother stated toEveline to stay as long as she can with her family, but her limit of fulfillingher mother’s desires could’ve came to an end and she could’ve left with Frankand 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; shehadn’t thought about it till last minute.

Although I also believe she kept herpromise in a way ” Strange that it should come that very night to remindher of the promise to her mother, the promise to keep the home together as longas she could.” She did just that, she kept it together till it was timefor her to make a life of herself. Her father abused the boys and threaten herthat he would do the same to her if she wasn’t a girl. She basically stayed forguilt.

I believe that Eveline made her decision based on fear of change, andafraid of leaving her comfort zone. I do believe that Eveline made the wrongdecision, if it wasn’t for her attachment on her past she would’ve chosen theopportunity for the future and freedom.


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