Eveline (Joyce)

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Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: A young woman struggled with the decision to leave her oppressive home life and sail away with her lover to a new life, ultimately choosing to stay behind.

Eveline, a young woman, sat by the window, reminiscing about her childhood and the changes that had occurred in her life. She remembered playing with her siblings and neighbors in a field that was now replaced by new houses. Her mother had passed away, and her siblings had grown up and moved on. Eveline was now considering leaving her home to start a new life with her lover, Frank.

Eveline — young woman; overworked, fearful, and indecisive; seeking escape from her difficult life.
Frank — Eveline's lover; kind, manly, open-hearted; sailor with a home in Buenos Ayres.

She weighed the pros and cons of her decision, considering the familiarity and stability of her current life, but also the potential for happiness and respect in her new life with Frank. Eveline's relationship with her father was strained, and she often felt threatened by his violence. She was responsible for taking care of her younger siblings and managing the household, which was a difficult and tiring task.

Escape! She must escape! Frank would save her. He would give her life, perhaps love, too.

Eveline and Frank had met when he was lodging in a house she used to visit. They had fallen in love, and he had told her stories of his travels and experiences as a sailor. He had a home waiting for her in Buenos Aires, and they planned to leave together on a night boat. However, her father had forbidden their relationship, forcing them to meet in secret.

As the time for her departure approached, Eveline felt a growing sense of panic and uncertainty. She remembered her mother's life of sacrifice and suffering and the promise she had made to keep the family together. She prayed for guidance, unsure of what her duty was.

She prayed to God to direct her, to show her what was her duty.

At the train station, surrounded by soldiers and the chaos of departure, Eveline felt overwhelmed by her decision. Frank urged her to come with him, but she was unable to move, gripped by fear and a sense of loyalty to her family. In the end, she could not bring herself to leave with Frank, and she watched him go without her, her face showing no sign of love or recognition.