Main Themes in Eveline

Temas principales en el cuento corto Eveline.
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  Main themes in Eveline The main themes in Eveline are Paralysis, Epiphany, Stream of Consciousness and Irish Social Conditions and Emigration. Paralysis  This sense of stagnation or paralysis is emphasized with the very words Joyce uses. The story Eveline! presents an e cellent e ample. The protagonist#hero$ %arely moves throughout the story. The ver%s which descri%e her are often ver%s of inaction, for e ample sat! in the first paragraph. &er%s are also deli%erately presented in the passive form' (er head was leaned.! This stress on inaction or paralysis ends with the visual description of Eveline frozen, passive, li)e a helpless animal.! Epiphany  The first epiphany, most certainly secular, occurs when Eveline is *olted to action at the remem%rance of her mother repeating thenonsensical phrase, +erevaun Seraun.! s Eveline prepares to leave, shee periences another epiphany.  %ell clanged upon her heart.! The vision is of drowning. Stream of Consciousness , the description of Eveline-s thoughts and emotions dominate the te t most of the action! #there is virtually none$ ta)es place within Eveline head. The words convey her thoughts, emotions and memories rather than descri%ing a series of events. Irish Social Conditions and Emigration  Ireland has endured waves of emigration, particularly after the Potato /amine of 0121. 3any left their native land to see) a %etter life elsewhere. The Irish were second4class citizens within their own nation Ireland was a 5ritish colony and the  6orthern Protestants controlled the economy of the country. Catholic families often faced hardship. lcoholism and a%use, as portrayed in Eveline! were common. s a result, many of the Irish loo)ed for escape. 0  Summary :Eveline sits at the window, watching the avenue. She thinks of her family, and the neighbors. Years ago, the children on the avenue used to play on a field where now stand many houses. She and her siblings are now grown up, and her mother is dead. Eveline is nineteen years old, and she is planning to leave Ireland forever. She works very hard, at a store and also at home, where she cares for her old father. She won't miss her ob in the store. Shehas mi!ed feelings about her father. e can be cruel, and though he doesn't beat her, as he did to her brothers, he often threatens her with violence. #ith her brothers gone $Ernest is dead and arry is often away on business% there is no one to protect her. She takes care of two young siblings and gives over her whole salary for the family, but her father is always accusing her of wasting money and being foolish. She is going to leave Ireland for good with a sailor named &rank.  (Eveline's beloved, who has asked to marry her. He has a home in Buenos Ayres, and he wants her to come with him.)  &rank treats her respectfully and with great tenderness, and he entertains her with stories about his travels aroundthe world. er father dislikes him. Still, she loves her father and regrets the idea of leaving him in his old age. t times he can be kind. She remembers her mother's death, when she promised her mother to keep the home together as long as she could. er mother lived a life (of commonplace sacrifices closing in final cra)iness(. She finished babbling the enigmatic phrase (*erevaun Seraun+( again and again. he fear of that memory strengthens the resolve in Eveline to leave. -ut at the station, with the boat ready to leave, she is paraly)ed. She cannot go the world is too frightening. (llthe seas of the world tumbled about her heart. e /&rank0was drawing her into them: he would drown her(. &rank calls to her, trying to get her to board with the rush of people. She merely stares at him as if he is a stranger. 7  Analysis: Yet again, this story focuses on   the theme of escape. Eveline has been given a chance. Yet in the end, the girl finds herself incapable of going. 1ertainly, she has every reason to leave. he portrait we have of her family life is less than heart2warming. #e see that she has taken on an incredible part of the burden in keeping the family together, as her mother did before her. er father, despite the points he wins for not beating her, is a domineering violent and unfair man, who makes his daughter work and then keeps her wages. 3ather than appreciate her sacrifices, he ridicules her. 4npleasant characters in 5oyce's works often critici)e the Irishman who leaves Ireland, the most common sentiment being that these e!patriates are ungrateful children of their country. 5oyce, himself an e!patriate, turns this insult around in (Eveline(: we see not an ungrateful child, but anungrateful parent. Eveline's stifling family life becomes a metaphor for the trap that is Ireland. er mother provides the chilling e!ample of what it meansto be a grateful child, and to do what is e!pected: we learn that she lived a life (of commonplace sacrifices closing in final cra)iness(. t the end of her life she is trueIrish, babbling in Ireland's native language $which nationalists had been trying to revitali)e%. owever, the phrase she utters repeatedly is probably nonsense he meaninglessness of the phrase suggests, metaphorically, that the sacrifices have also been meaningless. Eveline's mother$ She died years ago, but her memory is still vivid or Eveline. She lived a lie o small sacriices, and died a babbling madwoman. )  has earned nothing but madness. he stages2of2life structure continues. Eveline is adult, a young woman old enough to get married. 5oyce gives us in detail the terrible poverty and pressure of her situation.he weight of poverty and family responsibilities bear down on this young woman heavily her financial situationis terrible. She is trapped in an ugly situation, responsible for her siblings and the aging father who abuses her. 8  Paralysis  is a common theme in *ubliners, and poor Eveline finds herself unable to move forward. She lacks the courage and strength to make that leap that will free her of her oppressive situation. She's too scared to leave Ireland, and sees her lover as a possible source of danger:(ll the seas of the world tumbled about her heart. e /&rank0 was drawing her into them: he would drown her(. -ut her paralysis will cost her. Instead of an uncertain but hopeful future, she faces a certain and dismal future that may well repeat her mother's sad life story. Defeat, Powerlessness, Stasis, Imprisonment, and Paralysis hese five themes are closely connected. he coloni)ation of Ireland is paralleled by the sense of defeat and powerlessness in the lives of individuals. In many stories, characters are so trapped by their conditions that struggling seems pointless. 5oyce conveys this powerlessness through stasis. In *ublin, not much moves.his feeling of stasis is closely connected to a feeling that *ublin is a kind of prison. 6any characters feel trapped. Eveline is a young woman crushed by the stifling conditions that entrap her at home . most of the characters are is some way imprisoned. he entrapment is often caused by a combination of circumstances: poverty, social pressure, family situation. he frustration caused by this stasis, impotence, and imprisonment has a horrible effect on the human spirit. 7ften, the weak in *ubliners deal with their frustration by bullying the still weaker. Eveline's poor father takes out his frustrations on his children. Longing for Escape 4nfortunately, most of the characters are unable to escape. Eveline finds herself too frightened to leave Ireland.he greatest barrier to escape is sometime psychological, as it is with Eveline. s an Irish writer who lived most of his adult life abroad, 5oyce was obsessed with the liberating effects of fleeing Ireland, and he 2
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