October 8th, 2013
English 110 Three Reasons to Stay
Eveline by James Joyce is a short story about a 19 year old young woman who reflects the pull felt between her domestic life in which rooted from the past and the possibility of a future marriage life to come. Eveline believes she has a right to happiness, until she stands on the shore and faces the reality of the journey in which she is about to embark. She begins to think about the people she has known or died, and also her own plans to leave the country with a man name Frank whom who loves her. Fear and quilt continued to overwhelm Eveline because she did not know whether she was making the right decision to leave everything she has ever known behind and begin a new life with Frank. Eveline eventually comes to the conclusion that she cannot leave because she did not love Frank; she made a promise with her mother she could not break and not wanting to be forgotten.
The first reason Eveline decided not to go away with Frank was because she did not love Frank. Frank was more of an opportunity to embark on a new lifestyle that would contradict everything she has known and become accustomed to. Her routine, less fortunate lifestyle seems to be more comforting to her because of its stability, whereas being with Frank it’s something she has never experienced, something new and spontaneous. Eveline looked forward to putting an end to her domestic situation, and starting a new life where she would find happiness but it wasn’t Frank that she wanted to go away with, it was his lifestyle she wished she could live. Eveline then decides she is not going to leave as they are at the station and she becomes frozen not being able to express her thoughts to Frank.
The second reason Eveline decided not to go away with Frank was because she made a promise with her mother before she died that she would take care of the family while she was gone. Eveline’s father was known to be an alcoholic and physically abusive, he made his family’s life very difficult. Eveline’s mother had to do so much to hold their family together and make sure the kids went to school regularly and ate their daily meals. Being that her life was coming to a close end, she wanted to leave with the comfort that when she passed, she knew her family was going to be at good hands. Eveline did not want to stay with her father and continue to relive her childhood memories, but she realized that she did make the promise with her mother and she couldn’t deal with the quilt of leaving. If Eveline left she would have left her siblings behind knowing they were going to be mistreated and no one was going to be there to look after them. Eveline knew this was a serious responsibility she had to take forth not only for the well-being of her family but for her mother’s sake.
The third reason Eveline decided not