The conflict of Eveline

Eveline, from James Joyce’s short story, is a quiet and thoughtful young woman who has psychological conflicts in her mind. She wants to run away to start a new life with Frank, the sailor, but she also wants to stay to take care of her family and keep her mother’s last wish. Eveline’s life is full of struggles to keep the family together. She endures her father’s abuse and works hard for her family. She is alone and tired. It seems that there is no bright future for Eveline at home. However, she still loves her father. When she is about to leave the house, she does not try to convice herself to count all the reasons why she must run away, but she worries about her father, “Her father was becoming old lately..” (Joyce 2). She remembers some good memories when her father was good to her and family. Most of all, she remembers the mother’s last wish “[Eveline’s] promise to keep the home together..” (Joyce 3). Eveline faces this conflict of choosing a new life for herself or the life of struggles for her family.   There is another inner conflict for Eveline. Even though Frank is a kind and open-hearted young man, and makes her laugh, she hardly knows about him and the place where he came from, Buenos Ayres. Eveline thinks that she might be treated with respect in Buenos Ayres but at the same time, she worries that she would be unhappy like her mother in the end. She is tired of her life and eager to have a new life, but she is scared to start a new life with a man from another continent. Because of these inner conflicts, she has another struggle to make a decision which is to give up her family or a new life.


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