Epiphany In Eveline

824 Words 4 Pages
In the early years of the twentieth century Irish nationalism was at its peak, the people of Ireland were searching for a sense of belonging and a unifying national identity. James Joyce, an Irish novelist, wrote fifteen short stories that depict Irish middle class life in Dublin during this period of nationalism. He entitled the compilation of these short stories Dubliners. In each of these short stories the main character has an epiphany, a personal manifestation. In “Eveline”, the main character must undergo a self-reflecting journey to reach her epiphany of personal values.
The main character, Eveline is a young woman who endures a difficult life and seeks an opportunity to be freed from her hardships. She has to deal with the loss of
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Having limited options, she struggles with making her decision, one that will affect the rest of her life. Finally, when the time comes to decide she begins to think back to her past, she recalls the promise she made to her mother that she would keep the family together. Eveline comes to an epiphany that she must remain at home with her family. Her memories overshadow the fact that she has many personal issues at home. Frank gives her a clear choice to leave behind her troubles and be happy, but she chooses unhappiness instead. She is trapped by circumstances that are out of her control, these circumstances are a literal weight holding her down. She is powerless and does not have the ability to break free. Her fear of love for Frank and an unknown life in Buenos Aires makes her feel overwhelmed. “All the seas of the world tumbled about her heart. He was drawing her into them: he would drown her” (Joyce 34). It is not Frank that will drown her but rather the guilt she will feel if she left her family, breaking the promise to her mother. All these emotions lead to her feeling as if she will be submerged …show more content…
She chooses her familiar routine life rather than the chance to escape to a new land. She desires escape, but is more comfortable depending on her routine life and that overpowers her impulse to escape. Although she has the freedom to make whichever decision she wants, there are outside factors that are so great that impose on her freedom of will and limit her actual ability to make a decision. “Home! She looked round the room, reviewing all its familiar objects which she had dusted once a week for so many years, wondering where on earth all the dust came from. Perhaps she would never see again those familiar object from which she had never dreamed of being divided” (Joyce 30). She is imprisoned by routine, therefore her decision was already made for her. She is not of free will, but rather by the will of her family. Although she is looking for a new life with her lover, she knows she must stay with her family. This demonstrates the fact that she could not follow her true inclination to leave, but rather was forced to stay and support her family for the greater good of their wellbeing. Her love for Frank goes to waste when she decides to stay in Ireland and maintain her

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