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Eveline

Essay by   •  February 17, 2011  •  Essay  •  1,513 Words (7 Pages)  •  1,669 Views

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Summary:

The narrator, a sad widow and mother of two children, thinks about her past, while she is waiting for her daughter Dee (also called Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo) who comes back home to present her friend (Asalamalakim, also called Hakim-a-barber) to her mother and her sister Maggie, who looks like the narrator and is going to get married (to John Thomas). As they talk about the family and the heritage, the narrator decides to give the Grandma Dee quilts to Maggie and not to Dee, because she does not agree with Dee's conception of the family.

Analysis of one literary element:

I would like to talk about contrasts in Everyday Use. The narrator always plays with a balance between imaginary and reality. This literary way is used at the beginning, with the description of the yard, which "is not just a yard. It is like an extended living room". This literary element is really important when it deals with the characters themselves. For example, the narrator first describes herself with the comparison to a TV program and then tell us the truth: "In real life I am a large, big-boned woman with rough, man-working hands". In the same way: "[Maggie] will marry John Thomas [...] and then I'll be free to sit here and I guess just sing church songs to myself. Although I never was a good singer". Dee is first presented in the same way: "She wrote me once that no matter where we 'choose' to live, she will manage to see us. But she will never bring her friends. [...] when Dee have any friends?". This balance deals with the role and place of the reader, but also with the writing process. Indeed, the writer constructs her text, writes and then rubs out, corrects what she has written before our eyes. Thus this literary element is also a metaphor of the writing process.

"Eveline" a short story by James Joyce takes place in Ireland; is a tale of a young woman's (Eveline) hard unhappy life. "Eveline" can be considered a tragedy and comedy with a twist. Eveline, the main character is passive and naпve, the head of her household; and by the way, she is only nineteen. She is the only girl out of three kids. She has an attachment to her bother's Harry and Ernest, even though Harry is dead. She learns to adjust to her mother's premature death. She is in charge of two small siblings that were left in her care. She copes with forbidden love, violence, abuse, neglect, and family drama. Her father who never was a good influence or caregiver in her life is a major cause of her drama. Besides her mother, no one took care of her. He never paid her any attention because she was a girl. Her father takes what little money that she earns. On Saturday nights, her father was a terrible mean old drunk. Eveline support the mistreatments of her abusive father even when she is asking him for money to buy groceries. Without the former protection of her older brothers, she is beginning to feel herself in danger of her father's violence.

Frank, Eveline's love interest wants to take her away to Buenos Ayres. Frank is a sailor, whose sail the seven seas and been to many places. Her father does not accept frank for her. Frank wants to take Eveline away with him to start a new life. She agrees that she will not be missed at her current job. Her father knows what type of people sailor's are, they have no priorities, and they have a lot of love interest, and should not be trusted. He assumes that all sailor's lie because they have been around the world and they know what to expect. Her father does not like Frank; he prohibits her to continue seeing him. Her father says, "'I know this sailor chaps'" because of the reputation sailors used to have. When her father and Frank had a fight, Eveline decided to meet Frank secretly, which makes Eveline think of her relationship with Frank a more romantic and exciting. In her life, having a relationship with someone is a thrill. He would not let Eveline go, who would cook, clean or take good care of the kids. Not him; his job is to drink and abuse. Beside his wife, no one will put up with his dirty ways if not his daughter.

Eveline has a chance to live her own life and begin a new one with Frank. She falls in love with frank very fast. Love at first sight. However, the sad thing is this is her first boyfriend. She is looking for a male figure; one that will protect her, treat her right, and love her. She never had any positive male figures in her life beside her brothers. She does not really now what love is. How could she? She is in love with the concept of love. She cannot wait for her new life to begin, a life not yet marked by her father. She is scared about starting a new life; one that can be considered as her running away from her hard life at home. She refuses to end up like her mother, living an ordinary life. Her only escape

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