The early 1900s was a hard time to live for women. Many believed that they were just maids for their fathers and husbands and nannies for their children. James Joyce’s short story “Eveline” depicts a young girl named Eveline who is ready to leave her home in Ireland to start a better one in Argentina with her lover Frank. She is tired of being treated poorly by her father but has no confidence in herself to be able to go on this adventure. Having been thoroughly beaten down by her brutal, domineering father, Eveline lacks the self-confidence to flee in search of her own life.
Eveline has lived most of her life in fear of her father. Though he never abused her like he had her brothers, she still did not feel safe. It got much worse after her brother Harry left. Her father “…had begun to threaten her and say what he would do to her only for her dead mother’s sake” (4). Though it never mentions it in the story, it can be implied that he knows about the promise Eveline made to her mother on her death bed, the promise that she would keep up the house for as long as she could. By threatening her with the promise he is able to keep her under his control. The phrase “for her dead mother’s sake” is used to make her believe that if she ever decides to leave she will shame her mother.
Because she does not make very much working at the Stores, Eveline is forced to ask her father for more money in order to get necessities. It is always a constant battle between the two
every Saturday. He continually accuses her of “…squander[ing] the money, that she has no head, that he wasn’t going to give her his hard-earned money to throw about the streets” (5). He gives
her the money but taunts her by “…asking her had she any intention of buying Sunday’s dinner” (5). He obviously enjoys messing with his daughter’s head, because this happens week after week.
Eveline feels that she has found escape of this dreary life through Frank. They make plans to leave Ireland and go to...