Analysis of Setting in the Story "Eveline" By James Joyce

During the 1890s and into the early 1900s women didn’t have many rights and it caused a lot of women to feel like they didn’t have choices when it came to their lives. First she is repulsed by the way the boat looks and the soldiers that are leaving for war. Next she makes weighs her decision to leave and ends up staying because of the time in which she lived. Finally she stays because she made a promise to her mother and during the time that this story takes place women had to make huge sacrifices for their families. Therefore Eveline stays behind due to setting and time period in which this story takes place.

During the time when the book Eveline took place their hadn’t been a woman’s suffrage movement yet. Due to this Eveline felt that she had to stay behind and care for her family even though her family hadn’t always been the best thing in her life.

Eveline doesn’t end up going with Frank. One of the main points is because she felt she needed to spend her time with her father in his last days because he was older. However she stayed because of the location and how she felt around Frank. Therefore The location played a huge part in her staying.

In the book they describe the North Wall as being a drury place where soldiers would meet in order to get on boats. Eveline describes the boat as a “black mass” this shows that Eveline may be scared and unsure about her relationship and whether she wants to keep what she had with Frank. It shows that the door she would open if she went with Frank would be a mistake and she couldn’t risk making that mistake.

Another reason why she stayed at home rather than going with Frank was because of the time period in which she lived. During this time, people believed that women should be home or with a man that their father had chosen. In the book Eveline says “she had consented to go away to leave her home. Was that wise? She tried to weigh each side of the question. In her home anyway she had shelter and food; she had those whom she had known all her life about her. O course she had to work hard, both in the house and at business. What would they say of her in the stores when they found out that she had run away with a fellow?”. During this time it was against what people thought were right people thought that women especially had no rights of their own, if they dared to go against their community then they would often be shunned away from the town.

Finally due to the fact that Eveline would be breaking her promise to her mom caused her stay because she knew she had promised her mother that she would take care of their family and look out for them always. In the book it states “she knew the air strange that it should come to that very night to remind her of the promise to her mother. The promise to keep the house together as long as she could. As she mused the pitiful vision of her mother’s life laid its spell on the very quick of her being-that life of commonplace sacrifices closing in final craziness. She trembled as she heard again her mother’s voice saying constantly with foolish insistence: derevaun seraun! derevaun seraun!” Due to the time, if it wasn’t up to to the mother to take care of the children, then the eldest sister would care for the children and become the parent. Eveline felt that if she didn’t stay then she would regret it for the rest of her life as well as be haunted by her mother’s voice for leaving.

In conclusion due to Eveline being alive in a time when women didn’t have the rights that men had had a huge influence in the way that impacted the story and caused her to stay behind. 

16 December 2021
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