Wilde - Analysis of the character Eveline
Eveline’s story illustrates the pitfalls of holding onto the past when facing the future. One moment, Eveline feels happy to leave her hard life, yet at the next moment she worries about fulfilling promises to her dead mother. She grasps the letters she’s written to her father and brother, revealing her inability to let go of those family relationships, despite her father’s cruelty and her brother’s absence. She sees Frank as a rescuer, saving her from her domestic situation. Eveline suspends herself between the call of home and the past and the call of new experiences and the future, unable to make a decision.
The threat of repeating her mother’s life spurs Eveline’s epiphany that she must leave with Frank and embark on a new phase in her life, but this realization is short-lived. She hears a street organ, and when she remembers the street organ that played on the night before her mother’s death, Eveline resolves not to repeat her mother’s life of “commonplace sacrifices closing in final craziness,” but she does exactly that. She desires escape, but her reliance on routine and repetition overrides such impulses.
There are no actions, Eveline doesn’t do anything. She sits at the windows and thinks. Joyce was able to tell what was going on in her mind through the stream of consciousness.
She is physically tired because she works and she takes care of the house, but she is also mentally tired because she isn’t happy, she doesn’t like her life.