Family Decisions in James Joyce's Eveline from Dubliners Essay

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Family Decisions in "Eveline" In growing up there is never a day that goes by when we do not have to make a decision. While making these decisions, we are influenced by our family and friends. In James Joyce's "Eveline," the family structure is important in the decision making abilities Eveline possesses. Eveline's choice whether to go with her lover Frank to Buenos Ayres is not her own, but rather is one greatly determined by her family. Because her family is dysfunctional, Eveline is also dysfunctional, and she is not able to leave her unhealthy home environment for a new life with Frank. One member of Eveline's family who affects her choices is her mother. In many families mothers and daughters have a life-long bond where…show more content…
The guilt Eveline would feel if she left is one powerful negative influence on her decision-making potential which is likely to keep her home with her responsibilities and her unhappiness. Eveline's mother is not the only parent who contributes to the destruction of Eveline's decision-making abilities. Eveline's father always tells her what to do and never allows her to make choices. He is a very abusive, heavy drinker which makes her "sometimes [feel] herself in danger" (4). This fear of her father gives us the impression that Eveline is immobilized in part by her fear. She feels trapped in her mother's role since her father expects her to take care of him and the children. She is further frightened because of the way her father has abused her mother. Her father's control prevents her from doing what she wants to do. She resists that control to the extent that she is still strong enough to keep seeing Frank even though "her father [finds ] out about the affair and [forbids] her to have anything to say to him" (5). However, she feels too much pity for and fear of her father to be able to stand up to him when she is faced with a final choice. Eveline does not even choose in the strict sense of the word to go to the docks to meet Frank . While Eveline sits considering her
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