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Eveline: To Leave Or Not To Leave

634 words - 3 pages

Eveline?s Decision: To Leave or Not to Leave In the short story ?Eveline?, James Joyce introduces us to the main character, a distraught young woman who is torn between the known and unknown. Eveline is an anxious, timid, indecisive woman balancing on the thin line between her past and future. Traveling to Buenos Aires with Frank would mean a new life for her. It seems almost obvious to the reader that Eveline would want to take advantage of her opportunity to the fullest extent and leave the familiar life she leads. Instead, Eveline surprises all and decides to stay. Joyce?s decision to have Eveline remain at home were valid and based on her uncertainty of Frank, and the tragic deathbed promise made to her mother.Although she describes him as "very kind, manly, [and] open-hearted" (5), what Eveline knows about Frank is only what he tells her. She wants to believe in Frank; Eveline desperately hopes that "he would give her life, perhaps love, too? (6). From the beginning however, she is riddled with self-doubt. She questions the validity of her decision to leave. Although "she consented to go away, to leave her home?, she wonders, "was that wise?? (4). She hesitates at the thought of living "in a distant unknown country? (4).Another factor that affected Eveline?s decision to leave with Frank was the promise that she made to her mother. Eveline had made a ?promise to keep the home together as long as she could? (6). Eveline wants to keep the deathbed pledge made to her mother but is alarmed at the prospect of sharing her mother's fate. Her mother was ill-treated in life and Eveline vows that "she would not be treated as her mother had been? (4). When she recalls "the pitiful vision of her mother's life?, she is uncertain of what to do and prays "to God...

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