The Theme Of Paralysis In Eveline

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Most everyone wants to find someone to love; however, knowing for sure if someone you met is the one is a constant question as well as whether to leave your past life behind. This is the crisis in the story “Eveline” where Eveline Hill is unsure if she should run away with her new boyfriend or stay at home. In this short story, James Joyce establishes the theme of paralysis through the symbolism of Eveline’s parents and diction to reveal her ambivalent feelings towards leaving home.
To begin, the theme of paralysis evolved in the story through the symbolism of her parents, which is why she is unsure if she should leave with Frank and her uncertainty of her own motives for leaving. Eveline’s parents had a contentious relationship which causes her to question whether her relationship with Frank may end out the same. In Joyce’s “Eveline,” he writes, “She would not be treated as her mother had been. Even now, though she was over nineteen, she sometimes felt herself in danger of her father’s violence… Her father was becoming old lately, she noticed; he would miss her” (pg. 21-22). Throughout the story, Eveline thinks about how her parents relationship may translate into her own life. She is worried that leaving her father behind may devastate him when she seems to be scared of him still. She is stuck between leaving and staying displaying the theme of paralysis. According to the critic Golbarg Khorsand’s article “Paths to Paralysis: Symbolism and Narratology in James Joyce’s

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