Eveline by James Joyce: the Excuse of Fear


Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.

Download PDF

Fear is a sentiment which it can act double sided for a lot of reasons. While it can guide a person towards very threatening situations, it also may obstruct another person’s expected escape. For the main character Eveline in James Joyce’s “Eveline”, terror and fear is Eveline’s overruling commander. Although Eveline realizes her exposed life and wishes to be more happy, she quivers at the critical moment because the possibility to getaway seems very dangerous and it builds up fear within her. Eveline is basically afraid of love for one, she is afraid of love because she is basically the victim of her inner conflicts with her way of life. She is afraid because of the conflicts with her family and her father she does not want to let them go from the connection with them, but she tried to be with frank to escape her father in a way. In the end, Eveline chose the downhearted yet foreseeable daily life over a optimistic but undetermined future. Through contemplative narration and the moderate course of action of the main character, James Joyce’s “Eveline” shows the power of fear over many individuals as well as the significance of a powerful foundation in the mist of making good decisions.

Essay due? We'll write it for you!

Any subject

Min. 3-hour delivery

Pay if satisfied

Get your price

Furthermore, with “nobody to protect her” (Joyce 30), Eveline carries a back-breaking financial problem which “[tires]” her (Joyce 29). Although her family is her biggest focus and priority, Eveline has a bit of love for her present state ( Joyce 31). However in this sense, Eveline realizes that, in this condition, she could take up a sorrowful and selfless destiny: laboring away yet being poor of her wages, encountering a drunken father and quite possibly his trait of roughness, as well as being a big sister to her siblings ( having responsibilities for them). However I feel that the dust reflects her state of mind because it shows that she is always cleaning up after people or also it means death in a way. Eveline asks: “why should [I] be unhappy?” (Joyce 32). Neither the situations of her childhood nor her commitment (promise) to her mother that she would “ keep the home together as long as she could” ( Joyce 32)– could make her stay put. I feel that the significance of her being a seamstress is always trying to please others because of the relationship with them, but trying to please everyone else is not helping her with her own decisions that she wants to make.

Although Eveline turns to a achievable way out from her life in Ireland, her determination for a change is later squashed by terror/fear of the unrevealed future ahead. While Eveline considers the following “to leave [my] home… was that wise?” ( Joyce 30), she comes to a preferably uncertain ending where her reminiscence and discontentment of the present conflict in her mind. Eveline’s resolution for leaving is quite unexpected and frightening as she weeps in her mind: “ Escape! [I] must escape! ( Joyce 32). Therefore, she doesn’t seriously think about the details of her marriage because her determination to escape her present condition of her reasoning.

Moreover Eveline demonstrates to be a person invaded by instincts which concludes in disloyalty and a unenthusiastic dependence on religion. At first Eveline outreached the pier with a feeling of urgency to get away from her unappealing life. However, she turns to religion as her resolution maker at the very final minute. Eveline “ prayed to God to direct her” (Joyce 32) because she was not able to pick her destiny and consequently take up the accountability of her decisions. Eveline stays away from taking up such a large task and, instead of finding a solution on a logical decision, allows her reactions to take over. I believe that faith is an instinct because if something happens you rely on faith and God to try to help you in a way. In the end, she let go of Frank like an invalid credit card, not even acknowledging his commitment as an individual. ‘He took her to see The Bohemian Girl and she felt elated as she sat in an accustomed part of the theater.’ (Joyce 31) ‘He used to meet her outside of the Stores every evening and see her home.’ (Joyce 31). He consistently tried to make her feel loved and she did not know how actually recieve all of this so she dropped him.

Eveline’s decision for leaving the town brings brightness to the inconsiderate behavior of many people and antagonizing side of human nature. Like the other people in town, Eveline chooses to “ leave her home” (Joyce 29). In a sense, this is a formation of being a follower. As the nice sailor who recommended Eveline to move to another continent, Frank is portrayed by Eveline as “[her sailor who] would give her life [and] perhaps love” (Joyce 32). This is neither a self-assured nor a lovey-dovey statement from a woman who is about to vanish her home and sneak away with her lover. Therefore it is logical to conclude that Eveline wanted to “use” Frank as pass out of her miserable life. Because Eveline’s choice to leave was not developed upon a strong reasoning, the significant fear of the unknown future makes her more frightened and she stays for her unhappy but expected present. Eveline therefore settles on the fear which pressures her less. I feel that the narrator chooses Frank to be a sailor because sailor’s guide people and lead people in the right direction of where they need to be and that’s what Frank was trying to do with Eveline in a sense as well.

Many people may conclude that human nature needs steadiness, and fear produces unreasonable urges within an individual. Eveline is a prime example in this case. However, in the end it is her choice to decide on what side of the fence she wants to be on. In conclusion, Eveline’s story brings out that fear itself is a empty excuse for irregular and unsure behavior, and that overpowering it is perhaps one of the most major steps to better a person’s life and, in a higher scale, to advance his society.

writers online
to help you with essay
banner clock
Clock is ticking and inspiration doesn't come?
We`ll do boring work for you. No plagiarism guarantee. Deadline from 3 hours.

We use cookies to offer you the best experience. By continuing, we’ll assume you agree with our Cookies policy.