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Why Eveline Chose Dust In "Eveline" By James Joyce

782 words - 3 pages

In the short story, "Eveline," James Joyce introduces us to the life of a young woman named Eveline. She has the opportunity to escape with Frank, the man she thinks she loves, to a faraway country in search of a new life. Instead, she decides to stay in the dreary and gloomy life she already knows. To understand Eveline's final decision to stay we have to analyze the reasons that prevent Eveline from pursuing a better life. Her fear of the unknown; the fact that she does not know Frank well enough; and the many attachments she has to her home, prompt Eveline to make her decision.The first reason for Eveline to stay is that she is does not have the courage to leave. She tries to convince herself that her life is not "wholly undesirable," but Joyce reveals how hard and undesirable her life actually is when he tells us that she "felt herself in danger of her father's violence." She gets "palpitations" because she is so afraid of her own father. Although he beats her and treats her badly, she still thinks that "sometimes he could be very nice," just because she remembers him making her laugh once, and other time when he took care of her when she was sick. These good memories about her father look insignificant compared to what she has to do for him. Eveline also has to support the mistreatments of her abusive father even when she is asking him for money to buy groceries. Especially on Saturday nights when he is "usually fairly bad," meaning he is drunk. Eveline alone asks herself if it is wise to leave. She thinks that at her home she has "shelter and food; she had those whom she had known all her life." We know she does not feel quite at home in her father's house. For example, after all these years, she does not even know the name of the priest on a photograph in the house she lives in.Another reason for Eveline to stay is that she does not love Frank enough to escape with him. She does not even know him well enough. What Eveline knows about Frank is only what he tells her. Frank has "tales of distant countries," the word "tales" suggests that all is a false story. Everything...

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