Michael Ba reiss Dana Meltzer English 102 February 8, 2005 EVERYTHING CHANGES In the short story “Eveline” by James Joyce, the title character Eveline is fearful of making a change in her life; of making a commitment to her boyfriend Frank by leaving her homeland of Ireland and making a life with him in Buenos Ayres. Joyce illustrates that one of our most inherent qualities as humans and one that Eveline displays is that we are resistant to change. Through Eveline ” s relationships with her father, Frank and various peripheral relationships, Joyce demonstrates to us how Eveline has come to have certain beliefs about change. While everything changes is a common theme in this story, we as humans are generally fearful of it and Eveline is no exception. There is overwhelming evidence in Eveline’s life that change is good but she still resists it.
Eveline saw her mother make commonplace sacrifices from not having freedom to make choices, which could have brought about change. She learned, by looking back at her mother’s life that a life without change, while not wholly undesirable, is in fact not a life of comfort. She contemplates her freedom to change. She could leave with Frank; maybe he would save her.
However, in the end, she chose the same path as her mother and essentially squelched her own opportunity for change with a life of sameness, which stemmed from her fears. Eveline’s relationship with her father certainly added to her fear of change. Her father tried to stop her from changing many times in her life. He demonstrated to her how he feared and thoroughly disliked change of any kind. Starting when she was younger, he was not fond of the changing demographic in their neighborhood, Damned Italians! Later he would discourage Eveline from growing into an independent woman by forcing her to fill some of the roles her mother used to fill; such as caring for the house and shopping for and preparing the family’s meals. He would also discourage Eveline growing into an independent woman by letting her know of his dislike for Frank.
Who knew, changing environments could have a vast effect on my life and the lives of my four children. Changing environments changed our lives socially, economically and spiritually. All I had to do was want it bad enough, dream it big enough and prepare for the best life I had always envisioned for us. Positive changes occurred within all of us, just by changing our environment. Who knew a better ...
He would quarrel with him and make off-handed remarks about his profession. He did not want a worldly man such as Frank having any influence on his daughter. He wanted to be the influence on her. Because if she did become serious with Frank and he became the influence on her, her father knew that, he would become a lower priority in Eveline’s life. She would most certainly leave the house and quite possibly move far away, which would be yet another change the old man would have to endure. Other factors lead to Eveline being fearful of change.
Not only change in life commitment but change in physical surroundings are not something she embraces, though she has been surrounded by it most of her life. When she was a child, she would play in the field with the neighbor children every evening, until it was built upon. She has also experienced change in the form of death; childhood friends, her brother and her mother- all are dead. Death is not a positive representation of change to be sure. Also, in pondering change, comes the realization that the physical surroundings of her everyday life would no longer be there.
Things she never assumed she would be without in her life; the furnishings, the pictures, the curtains, even the dust! Things she has unknowingly drawn comfort from her entire life would not be there to comfort her; they would be gone. Change may not be something she wants. All of these realizations about change are due to Eveline considering the biggest change in her life. The change she is most fearful about, moving away from Ireland to be with Frank in Buenos Ayres. If she were to embrace this life-changing move, the ramifications are almost not conceivable for Eveline.
In life people are be alone by choice, no matter if it was flat out what the wanted or alone due to some kind of forced circumstance that grew out of a previous choice they made, but when it comes down to it loneliness is never truly desired. In the short stories A Painful Case and Eveline we see examples of each type of loneliness. In A Painful Case Mr. Duffy for the most part of his life chooses ...
Her tiny view of the world does not allow her to fully appreciate a change of this magnitude. All that she knows up to this point in her young life would be turned upside down. Does she really want this much change? Change in language, change in climate, change in responsibilities, change in friends, change in career, change in family life and most likely a change to motherhood. So much change to acclimate to from making one decision. She clearly is scared to death of this much change in her life especially when this will happen mostly all at once. Throughout Eveline’s life, she has been an involuntary recipient of change.
She has seen the evidence of change being a good thing that she should embrace to avoid the mistakes and unhappiness that accompanies not doing so. Even with all of the evidence – she still chose not to change. She chose, as most people do in life, to remain the same. This as humans is an inescapable, inherent part of being human, to be fearful of change and not embrace it, no matter what the price may be. She will never know.