The Symbolism Of Eveline In James Joyce's Dubliners

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Theme: Eveline was given a chance to change her life, but she preferred to leave it unchanged. We can’t judge her for this choice, she had various reasons to do so - from her father’s abuse up to higher moral obligation. Eveline’s story is an example of cultural issues, which were faced by young women in Ireland of the early 19th century. James Joyce, the Irish writer, left Dublin forever at the age of 20. He had never came back, but he believed that only if he could understand Dublin, he could understand any other city in the world. During his life, he dedicated many of his work to Dublin, but not because of being homesick. Joyce himself considered Dublin to be the centre of paralysis and inactivity. During his life, many of his works were…show more content…
She feels that she can’t do it, and in this very moment she destroys all her dreams and aspirations for a better life, looking at her savior-to-be with no sign of being thankful to him or worried for her decision. Joyce uses water in this episode as very powerful symbol of a transmitter, purifier. She was afraid that the new life may “drown” her, but she never thought of being reborn from the waves. To introduce a counterargument in my essay, I would like to note that probably, Eveline considered it selfish to leave her house, her ageing father. Who would take care of him and her younger siblings? From this prospective Eveline committed a noble deed. There were various reasons for Eveline leaving her life as it was, surrendering to reality and remaining a sacrifice of circumstances – fear of the uknown, obligation, abuse. The most dramatic point of the short story is that by the age of 19 she still was not able to take a decision, even having a sad example of her mother. Somebody can say, that it was the spirit of the time - women had subservient roles and were overshadowed by their husbands, brothers, fathers. But what makes the story urgent nowadays is realizing how many people, having all possible freedom they can have, still prefer staying in their zone of comfort, not taking efforts to change their lives to better. By the examples of Eveline’s and her mother’s lives Joyce shows his readers, what consequences may surrender and inability to take a decision lead a human being
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