Eilis Reluctantly Constructs A Version Of Herself Essay

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Eilis reluctantly constructs a version of herself

Colm Toibin’s Brooklyn is a novel which follows the story of Eilis Lacey, a young girl from Enniscorthy who is content with living in her small town and remaining in her comfort zone. However, Eilis’ passivity and inability to make decisions for herself comes to the fore when her older sister Rose and Father Flood devise a plan for her to seek employment in America. Eilis privately opposes the idea, but agrees to go regardless and this journey into the unknown gives her a new found sense of independence and confidence. It is these experiences which allows her to construct a new version of herself, one which is much more outspoken and confident.

Eilis makes assumption about what other characters may be thinking, often letting these choices lead her actions. She is not at all bossy but rather obedient to social expectations, usually to her own personal detriment. Letting others dictate her life and promising “…herself that not for one moment would she give them the smallest hint of what she felt…” (P.31) As seen at the time of the talk between Father Flood, Rose and her mother of her departure to Brooklyn for a more promising future. Eilis merely watched and listened as her life was dictated right before her. Her own opinion is of little concern to her family and even to herself as the code of familial and social obedience presents a more significance matter. Thus preventing her to present her colossal disagreement with the idea of sending her abroad to a country she knows very little to none about. It is evident that Eilis does not seek adventure or thill of the new but relishes the routine and the familiar as “the thought that she was going to lose this world for ever, that she would never have an ordinary day again in this ordinary place, that the rest of her life would be a struggle with the unfamiliar” Even though knowing that leaving Enniscorthy would be the most regretful change in her life, her lacking ability to express herself to others of what she wants resulted in her losing the world she loved the most.
Brooklyn is a world of implicit manners where propriety and appearance plays a significant role. This is…