Thursday, September 27, 2012
Eveline and the Issue of Change - Presented by Students Maren M., Taryn S., and Lejla K.
By Taryn, Lejla, and Maren
During a discussion over "Eveline" earlier this week one of our classmates mentioned that Eveline is not so much afraid of making decisions as she is of change. After rereading the story we realized that Eveline has had a number of traumatic "changes" in her life, including the deaths of her mother and her favorite brother. The one potentially positive change in her life was Frank, although the reader, along with Eveline, is not sure whether or not they can trust Frank to keep his promises once they leave Dublin. Maybe if Eveline was more confident in her feelings for Frank, she would have been less afraid of the dramatic change he would cause in her life.
As far as we could tell, the only time Eveline described her feelings for Frank was with the phrase "pleasantly confused" which is not the phrase one should use to describe the feelings you have for someone you are going to marry. Ultimately, Eveline's problem does not stem from her inability to defy her father, she had, after all, continued to meet with Frank after her father refused to allow her to see him again, but her inability to trust herself to make the right decision when a drastic change to her life is involved. After so many negative changes in her life, some of which she may wrongfully blame herself for, Eveline's ability to make decisions had been "paralyzed" by events outside of her control.
Joyce even goes as far as to state "everything changes" within the story and since Joyce was never one to waste words, we can only assume that this phrase represents a major theme of "Eveline." Although he does not allow Eveline to specifically state how she feels about change, we feel that her decision to not leave with Frank at the conclusion of the story shows that she feels like she cannot bring herself to trust the change in her life that she so desperately wanted.
Questions for readers:
-Do you agree with our conclusion about why Eveline could not leave Dublin?
-Do you think Eveline returned home from the docks or did she go somewhere else?
-Do you think the story reflects Joyce's view of women? And what is that view?
-Is Frank a real prospect of change? Or is he just another man that will potentially try to control her?