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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Essay on James Joyce's Eveline

Essay on James Joyce's Eveline

An interesting topic based on "Eveline” by James Joyce is happiness being a matter of choice. People are responsible for their own happiness, and so they have to make the best decisions for their lives so that they can be truly happy. If people are afraid to make crucial and difficult decisions for the sake of their happiness, they cannot expect to have fulfilment and satisfaction in their lives.

This was the problem that Eveline faced as she was torn between the past and her future. She wanted to finally live a new life with her partner Frank, but this would require her to leave behind her father and her family. Eveline promised her mother before she died that she would take care of the family, and this prevented her from being able to live a new life the way that she wanted or envisioned together with Frank. Even if she knew that by staying with her father she would continue to have a miserable life, she still chose to live her life like this than be with Frank. She could not escape the fact that her conscience was telling her not to be selfish and stay with her family so that she could take care of her father. Eveline did not want to live a life like that of her mother who became regretful that she did not fight for her happiness. She was already getting abused by her father and had to work so hard to make ends meet. If she would join Frank and get married in Buenos Aires, things would certainly be better for her. However, she already promised her mother that she would do her best for the sake of the family, and to honour this promise Eveline had to let go of her own happiness.

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"Come!" No! No! No! It was impossible. Her hands clutched the iron in frenzy. Amid the seas she sent a cry of anguish. "Eveline! Evvy! (Online Literature Website, 2012) This was the last part of the story as Frank was trying to desperately urge Eveline to join him in the ship going to Buenos Aires. This was the ticket towards freedom for Eveline. Frank was the solution to all her personal problems, and this guy truly loved Eveline with all his heart. All Eveline had to do was to join him in Buenos Aires and spend the rest of their lives together away from Dublin. After all, Eveline deserves to find happiness for herself after all the sacrifices that she did for the sake of her family. However, she could not do this when the opportunity presented itself.  Even Frank was surprised that Eveline hesitated to grab the opportunity to become finally free and be happy for the rest of her life. He thought that Eveline was all set to join him to Buenos Aires so that they could finally live happily ever after.

It may be a sad ending for this story, but this is why not all people are able to find happiness in their lives. Many people end up facing the dilemma that Eveline faced in the story. They are not able to separate themselves from their past to become happy, and so their future becomes bleak because they are not willing to let go. They allow themselves to be dictated and haunted by their past so much that they are not aware that they are already compromising their future. It is really difficult to find happiness in this world because people have to earn it. If people are afraid like Eveline to let go of the past, they cannot expect to have a bright and happy future ahead of time. 

Cited Works

Online Literature Website. “Eveline.” Retrieved December 25, 2012 at

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