Name: Katharina Ochsenfahrt Semester: 2
Class: Academic Writing I, Mon.14.15-15.45 Date: 05.07.2008
How can we tell that Eveline is not in love?
Analysis of James Joyce’s short story Eveline
1 Usual Lovers
2 Lack of love between Eveline and Frank
2.1 Eveline’s hope for a better life
2.2 Eveline’s distrust
2.3 Love never mentioned
2.4 Eveline’s decision against Frank
3 No visible feelings, no shared future
Usually, people, who are in love, do not care about what their families, and other people might think about them. They miss eachother when they are separated. All they want is being together. But in James Joyce’s short story Eveline the protagonist behaves very differently. Why does she not leave with her boyfriend Frank when there seems to be nothing that holds her back? There is a plausible explanation. Eveline is not in love with Frank, she only sees him as a chance to escape from her hard life. She only hopes for a better life, but does not trust Frank. Moreover, she never mentions that she loves him, and finally she decides not to go with him.
Eveline hopes she will have a better, more comfortable life with Frank in Buenos Ayres. She thinks that the life in another country will be totally different from her old life in Dublin, where she lives with her father, who threatens her sometimes, and two younger siblings, she has to take care for. Moreover she hopes, that when she is married with Frank, other people will have more respect for her. Whereas in her salesjob in Dublin she is little respected. Eveline hopes that she will not live the same pittyful life her mother did, when she leaves Ireland. To escape the destiny of a hard life, she wants to use Frank. This is shown by the sentences: “Frank would save her. He would give her life, perhaps love, too.” ( Joyce 72) The word “perhaps” clearly indicates that she is not in love at the moment of the utterance, but that she hopes to learn to love Frank someday. Eveline wants to leave with Frank, because she wants to enjoy a better life in Buenos Ayres, not because she loves him.