Psychological And Mental Paralysis In Eveline By James Joyce

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In society, women have expectations put upon them when it comes to their duties and responsibilities at home. Women are expected to be the caregivers in their families; therefore some women feel and have chosen to put their dreams and aspirations aside to fulfill the role society has placed upon them. Eveline gives up her lover, a chance to leave Dublin, freedom from caring for her family and most importantly her potential happiness in order to keep her mother’s dying request. For Eveline to make this decision, she tricks herself into remembering the happier times she had when she was younger despite the truth of having an abusive father. By using the psychological and gender strategies to summarize “Eveline” written by James Joyce, we can analyze how Eveline suffers from mental paralysis from not wanting to leave behind a home she knows because as a woman she bears the responsibility of making sure everyone is good with the exception of her.

“Eveline” begins with her sitting at the window reminiscing about how the neighborhood used to look when she was a child. She remembers playing with the neighborhood kids, her sisters and brothers. One memory was when her father used to “hunt them in out of the field with his blackthorn stick” (Joyce 407). She describes her life as being “rather happy” and she felt that “her father was not so bad then” (407). Here Eveline is thinking of reasons to stay in Dublin instead of going away with her suitor Frank. She is trying to

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