Trapped by Guilt in James Joyce's Eveline from Dubliners Essay

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Eveline: Trapped by Guilt The story "Eveline," by James Joyce is one of indescribable loyalty and extreme choices. Two themes dominate the story: everything good must end, and it is the victim of abuse that often feels guilt. The guilt that Eveline feels forces her to make choices that trap her into a pitiful existence. The setting of "Eveline" is a typical Irish town. Eveline’s mother is dead and her father, though living, has a less than stellar character. He is abusive towards her two brothers and constantly threatens her. Another example of his character or lack thereof is his racist attitude. This is evident when he yells, "Damned Italians!" Then one day, Eveline meets Frank who lives in Buenos Aires.…show more content…
She would be trapped. Of course, if she chooses to go with Frank then she would begin her new life with love and happiness. This brings up another theme; everyone is looking for contentment. The ironic part of this is that she looks for fulfillment, but once she finds it, she turns away from the source, Frank. Another theme is that everyone wants to feel secure. People want guarantees in life even when none should be needed, as in the case of love. This theme corresponds with the idea of trust. Eveline should trust Frank if she loves him. This means that no matter what, she should know that as long as she is with Frank, she will be fine. However, because of her insecurity, she chooses to stay with her father. She wants what all people want, security. "In her home anyway she had shelter and food; she had those whom she had known all her life about her." That statement illustrates perfectly how Eveline seems to loath change and anything that is alien to her normal routine. In peoples' lives, it is human nature to strive for structure. She must also think that nothing good ever lasts. She takes the pessimistic view in that all good things end. Along these same lines, another major theme is fear. She is consumed by her fear of the unknown (i.e. going with Frank to Buenos Aires and not knowing how they will survive). Eveline also has a fear of her father, which is another factor in why she chooses to
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