עמוד ראשי >> אנגלית >> Eveline
Eveline, a 19 year old Dublin girl, is soon sitting by the window in the evening, thinking about her life.
She is about to leave her home and start a new life in Buenos Aires with her lover, Frank. But now, thoughts of her past, present and future life fill her mind.
Almost all the action of the story takes place inside the girl's mind as she tries to resolve the conflict between her duty to her family (which means: self-sacrifice) and her only chance to find love and happiness (self-fulfillment) by marrying Frank.
On the one hand, we are told about her unhappy, unloved childhood and miserable family life with a cruel and violent father. Her mother and her favorite brother are both dead, and Eveline has the responsibility of caring for the younger children and of keeping the home together, as she promised her dying mother she would.
On the other hand, Frank has offered her the chance to escape her unhappy life, to sail with him to Buenos Aires and become his wife. Frank and his life are the complete opposite of Eveline and her life. He is vital and alive, she is passive and "dead". Frank represents her only chance of happiness. He offers her life and love.
But the influence of the past is stronger on Eveline then that of the future. Never having been loved or valued for herself, Eveline does not truly believe in the right to happiness and self-fulfillment. So in the end, her sense of duty wins the inner battle. She remains in Dublin, simply because she lacks the will to make an active decision of her own. Her fate has been decided for her.
The final scene shows Frank pleading with Eveline at the deck to come with him. But she grips the iron railing and gives him "no sign of love or farewell or recognition". At the last moment before the ship sails, Frank rushes onto it, leaving Eveline standing there "passive" like "a helpless animal".
At 19, life for Eveline is over.