Response 3.2

April 4, 2019

Reading Assignment: “Eveline,” “After the Race,” and “Two Gallants,” from James Joyce’s Dubliners.

Writing Assignment: Write a short response to one of the stories. The prompt is open-ended: you may choose to focus on one theme that fascinates you; describe a passage that you don’t understand; or detail some other response you had to the stories.

I would also like to remind you that the final drafts of Essay 2 are due on Monday. And: Attendance and responses from last class were sparse; please remember that regular participation (including arriving to class on time and prepared for discussion) is an important part of your final grade.

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16 Responses to “Response 3.2”

  1.   Ayoub Janah said:

    James Joyce has written once again an intriguing piece that has encompassed a few themes of paralysis, and fear but brought life to the character Eveline. The story, “Eveline” is set in Dublin as this is a short story we are introduced to a few characters and the main theme. It starts off by the narrator, Eveline sitting in a Dublin shop where she is reminiscing memories of her childhood past. She recalls the bad and good, of her memories and would cherish to see them again. An interesting point about this is it was before her mother died which would make sense why she is longing for some of these memories. Her father would brutally beat Eveline and her siblings once the mother died. This may have been uncontrollable as the father would be drunken. He wasn’t like this before when the mother was alive. As it states, “Her father was not so bad then, and besides her mother was alive.”(28) Once her death came, everything changed, there was a disconnection in the family. So she began thinking of leaving her home. This is when the guilt and fear starts to leak in, she was only 19 during the time and was seeking a better life. But she was weighing her thoughts on the question of leaving her home. It states, “In her home anyway she had shelter and food;she had those whom she had known all her life about her. But in her new home, in a distant unknown country, it would not be like that..People would treat her with respect then.”(29) As she contemplated on whether she should go or not, she came to the conclusion that she should leave and be free. Her boyfriend Frank, was from Argentina and was about to sail back to Buenos Ayres. One evening as she was in the shop gazing out through the window, she muses on her thoughts and remembers what her mother told her. It states, “Strange that it should come that very night to remind her of the promise to her mother, her promise to keep the home together as long as she could.”(31) She started to believe that she had the right for happiness. So as the time comes, Frank and her are going to the station. She starts to feel something strange in her gut feeling. It got to a point where she cracked and couldn’t go. As she held on to a railing Frank would scream at her name but won’t let go. Frank lefta s he looked back she was emotionless or in this case the state of paralysis. As Joyce states, “her eyes gave him no sign of love or farewell or recognition.”(33) the fear and guilt that was still deepend in her as she started to feel this emotion engulf her. She couldn’t leave her father and her younger siblings. This sacrifice to her family that she gives not only is questioning but leads us to believe that there is a barrier between man and woman. The Catholic Church and England may play a role in how society should be structured or perceived. James Joyce brings the issues of the Catholic Church to the table, in most of his short stories as it leads readers to question the intentions and position that a Church has in a society.

  2.   Rose Fattakhov said:

    In the short story, “Eveline,” by James Joyce, Eveline’s story illustrates how holding on to the past can influence a person in a negative way. It demonstrates the problem many people had about leaving their established life in the past and pursuing a new married life in a completely new and different place. Eveline feels happy to leave her hard life, but then, a moment later, she begins to worry again about fulfilling her promises to her dead mother. It seems like Joyce has a theme of leaving some thoughts unexplained because like in the past short stories, we do not get an explanation here as to what her promises were to her dead mother. Even though her father was abusive, and her brother was absent, Eveline still wrote letters to them. She continued to hold on to them years and years after. They were negative aspects in her life, but she still looked at them positively. Instead of focusing on the negative of her family members, she clings onto the pleasant memories. Frank is her fiance who she plans run away with. She sees him as a savior who saves her from her terrible living situation. Eveline doesn’t know if she should stay home, or run away with Frank. She then realizes that she does not want to relive her mother’s life and she decides to run away, but the decision doesn’t last long. Again, we do not get an explanation as to what her mother’s life consisted of other then marrying Eveline’s father who was terrible to Eveline. She then again doesn’t know what to do and goes back and forth with her decision. She wants to escape, but her routine of being at the same home in which she has already established herself stops her. She is on the docks with Frank and begins to say a prayer, which feels familiar to her, just like her already established atmosphere in Dublin. She is scared Frank will drown her in their amazing new life, but what really causes her to stay is what seems like her unbreakable routine in her current hometown. She then begins to feel a sense of paralysis, which we have seen in the other other short stories too. She is stuck in this cycle and robbed of her will and emotion. We don’t know if she returns home, but it seems that she continues to hover over this decision over and over again.

  3.   Wenhui Ding said:

    “Eveline” is yet another Dubliners tale about paralysis. Eveline contemplates running away to Argentina with her lover, Frank. Eveline’s inability to make a decision, a sort of mental paralysis, results in actual physical paralysis at the end of the story as she stands outside watching Frank board the ship but cannot bring herself to join him. Through her inability to make a decision, she inadvertently decides to stay behind in Dublin. In the story “She had work to keep the house together and to see that the two young children who had been left to her charge went to school regularly and got their meals regularly.” (30) This is another factor in her staying in Dublin, as she feels a duty towards her younger siblings who would only have their cruel, drunken father to look after them if she left with Frank for Argentina. Eveline looks down at the two letters she has been holding in her lap: one for Harry, and one for her father. Eveline remembers the good memories with her father, like when he made her toast when she was sick, and entertained the children on a family picnic. Eveline reflects nostalgically on the past, remembering the nice things her father has done. Eveline’s paralysis is also caused by her sense of powerlessness. She continually looks to two things to save her from her situation: Frank and religion or God. She is constantly either praying to God or thinking about how Frank will help her become more respectable or change her situation. She has grown up in a society where she is powerless and needs someone to save her, and so she is unable to claim ownership of her own fate. Her sense of powerless, along with her emotions and nostalgia, prevent her from making a decision.

  4.   Matthew Outar said:

    James Joyce’s short story “Eveline” from Dubliners introduces a woman in Dublin who is in the middle of a complex dilemma. She is stuck between taking care of her father or leaving for Argentina with her lover Frank. While Eveline Hill recounts on her past memories she cherishes her old family life. Displayed by this story is a multiplex predicament that is faced by a multitude of women seeking a better life. As Eveline reads the letters to her father and brother she recalls the promise she made to her mother to committing herself to her domestic duties. This represents that older view of women as the figure in the household who does the cooking, cleaning and other housework. However, as she recalls the agony her mother faced throughout her life she sees Frank as an escape. Eveline is now stuck between falling into the same trap women have had for years or seek change and try to find a better life. While Eveline is determined to start a better life with her lover in Argentina she is reluctant because of her past. She questions her decision because of her family and simply because of the fear of the unknown. Therefore, we sadly see her fall into a trap that many women tend to. She chose to prioritize her family and domestic duties above her personal happiness and freedom. This story is extremely relevant while analyzing it through a feminist lens. This short story excellently brings up points on the position of women in society as well as the household. As her lover Frank leaves for Argentina she sadly decides to stay evidently because of the desire for familiarity and routine.

  5.   jennifer gavilanes said:

    “Eveline” by James Joyce story shows Eveline’s story of holding onto the past when facing the future. She reflects the conflicting pull many women in early twentieth-century Dublin felt between a domestic life rooted in the past and the possibility of a new married life abroad. One moment, Eveline feels happy to leave her hard life in the past , yet at the same time she worries about keeping promises she made to her mother who passed away. She reads the letters she does have to both her father and brother, where she reveals her inability to let go of those family relationships. She wants to stay to the older memories and imagines what other people want her to do. She sees Frank as a rescuer, saving her from her domestic situation.She is unable and stuck on not being able to make a desicion with running away with her lover which is another major part in this story.

  6.   kyle swedin said:

    In the short story Eveline by James Joyce, there is the same tone to this story that is also seen in the previous stories. Eveline the main character is first introduced sitting in a little shop. She is reminiscing about a field that her and the other kids used to play in when they were all young. She thinks about the fun times they all had playing in the field. Even though this is a change form the previous stories where they wouldn’t be so cheerful, he incorporates a subtle dark line when he writes, “Her father was not so bad then, and besides her mother was alive” (28). We later learn that her father is a mean drunk and is affecting the younger siblings. Eveline is now torn between leaving her drunk father and going to Argentina with the person she loves or staying and taking care of her father and younger siblings. Ultimately she stays back to help her family instead of going to Argentina with her lover. She ends up sacrificing her own personal happiness in order to take care of the family.

  7.   Brian Osorio said:

    I am a very open minded person especially when reading but all three of these passages could not get through to me. I do not know what I read as it seemed to not provide any value to me. I do not mean to bash these readings in any way but that was my experience when reading these short stories hopefully in class i am able to fully understand them.

  8.   Rawdah Rahim said:

    The three stories “Eveline,” “After the Race,” and “Two Gallants,” from James Joyce’s Dubliners, continues to carry out similar notions surrounding relationships and reflection. “Eveline” surrounds the difficulties people have balancing or concentrating on life after eloping.The story introduces Eveline who is confident to marry her lover Frank and start a new life. After thinking and reminiscing about her past, she quickly changes her mind and gets anxious. She recalls without intention her abusive father and brother who are not active figures in her life. Even with the negative correlation that she has with her family members, she continued to keep in touch with them by writing letters. This shows her involvement with her past life, something that she would lose after running away because she would be far away from them. She suddenly is approached with an epiphany and realizes that she doesn’t want to repeat or relive the life that her dead mother had went through so she decides she will run away. But that thought doesn’t last long. Her indecisiveness shows the concrete relationship that one has with the routine that they have been following for so many years, just like Eveline has in her life in Dublin. She is paralyzed and can’t seem to come to a conclusion for herself, a common theme seen in all the stories in Dublin. The excuses and explanations that she makes up in her head, seem to go back to one thing, her life in Dublin. She won’t let go of the life and routine that she has been following for so many years, similar to “An Encounter” when two boys step out of routine and encounter a bizarre situation with an elderly man. It is unclear what Evelyn ends up doing but it’s obvious that she cannot fathom on a decision that leaves her to feel closure.

  9.   Dejun Gao said:

    “Eveline” by James Joyce story was about Evelyn’s story of persistence in the face of the future. She reflects the contradiction between the many family life in Dublin in the early twentieth century and the possibility of a new marriage in the past. Evelyn felt happy to have lived through her hard life, but at the same time she was worried that she would make a promise to her deceased mother. She read her letters to her father and brother, where she revealed that she could not give up these family relationships. She wants to stay in the old memories and imagine what other people want her to do. She thought that Frank was a rescuer and saved her from her family situation but she can’t escape with her lover.

  10.   Terry Chen said:

    The story “Eveline” by James Joyce is about a girl who’s mother passed away and attempts to keep the family together. According to the story after the mother has died the father fell into despair and impacted the family in a negative way. In the story it states that “Even now, though she was over nineteen, she sometimes felt herself in danger of her father’s violence”. However, despite the abuse and terror the girl continues to stay and keep the family together because of her promise to her mother. In the story it states “Strange that it should come that very night to remind her of the promise to her mother, her promise to keep the home together as long as she could”. Furthermore, the girl decides to leave with a guy name Frank and in doing so she had a flashback of her mothers death. This vision terrorized her and made her questioned if leaving with Frank was the right choice. All in all, this was a difficult story to go through but I attempted to piece the story together with what I think I had the grasp of. James Joyce’s use of diction and style is very complicated and different which makes it harder to understand.

  11.   Jenson Hu said:

    The story, “Eveline”, from James Joyce’s Dubliners, starts off by introducing a girl named Eveline who is sitting at the window and watching outside. She starts to think about her family’s past when her father wasn’t as abusive, and when her mother and brother were still alive. In the present time, at the age of 19, Eveline’s father has gotten worse in terms of physical abuse as stated in the story, “Even now, though she was over nineteen, she sometimes felt herself in danger of her father’s violence.” Even though in the past, her father targeted her brother’s Harry and Ernest in the past and not her, she has become the victim of abuse as Ernest had died, Harry has moved to elsewhere in the country, and the excuse of the father’s violence is “for her mother’s sake.” In an attempt to escape the abuse, she debates on whether to to go with her lover, Frank, to a different country. She envisioned a better life with a home in Buenos Ayres waiting for her. However, towards the end of the story, she doesn’t follow Frank and stares at him with no sign of love or knowledge of him.

  12.   Natalia Paredes said:

    The end of Eveline’s story was really unexpected for me. It starts with a woman that looks back in her life and all that she sees is mostly a bland life, a black and white canvas that is lacking color whatsoever. However, she also tries to recall the good memories of her life before her mother died, when his dad was not being abusive and when her brother still lived at home, but those memories seem to fade away when the reality of her past hit her. Her mom was a devoted wife and mother, but her life lacked passion and emotion, she had a pitiful life, and Eveline knew it, but the promise that she made once kept pounding in her mind. With every memory, she got more and more convinced that she had to run away with Frank. Frank was a good man and he could be the salvation that she needed, so she decided to run away with him to Buenos Aires and be happy with him. The really curious part is that when it was time to leave she just stood there seeing how her love and her possible only opportunity of having a fulfilling life were leaving in that ship, and she was not with them. The question is what made her stayed? Was it the promise she made to her mother, maybe she was resigned to live that life because she even said that “she did not find it a wholly undesirable life”(30). Or maybe she could not live with herself knowing that she left behind all her responsibilities and that people like her father or the two kids will suffer for her desire to be happy. Can be said that she never actually was going to go, but the letters she had for her loved ones say that’s not probable.

  13.   Jason Jiang said:

    The three passages are all written by James Joyce and each with different themes. In Evelines, it revolves around a woman who reminisces about the past when the neighborhood she lived in was happy and a time when her family was still a family. In Evelines past before all the bad started happening she is reminded of the time when her mother was still alive and the kids she used to play with were all happy before the field they played on was turned into homes. Once they grew up and the mother died she made a promise to her mother that would keep her from moving on. The theme of this story is paralysis like another one of James Joyce’s stories and due to her memories of her home and the unknown of wanting to move on Eveline was unable to leave her home even though if she did she would have enjoyed a better life with her soon to be husband. Her fear of moving on could be due to the promise she made with her mother and the environment she grew up in after her mothers death, with her father becoming more abusive towards the family and although she wanted to escape she couldn’t as the last promise she made with her mother was to keep the family together.

  14.   Veronica Pena said:

    James Joyce’s story “After the Race” is about a young man named Jimmy Doyle who is infatuated with wealth. Jimmy is so focused on looking good and rich that it makes him naive. Having recently invested in his friend’s company he is is happy become surrounded by his wealthy friends. He doesn’t understand how his obsession with looking wealthy can impact him negatively. Him and his friends go to a party on a yacht where he gives a big speech that he doesn’t even remember but assumes is good because of the applause he receives. They all decide to play a game of cards where Jimmy begins losing a lot of money. He gets so drunk he doesn’t remember just how much money he is losing in the game. In the end he becomes one of the biggest losers. Accepting his fate he declares he will regret his choices the next day when ironically ones of his friends announces daybreak. Jimmy is so focued on a lavish lifestyle he doesn’t realize what he is losing. He doesn’t realize how destructive seeking money and status could be. He lets the bad influence from his friends become his downfall. He loses all his money only to end up in the pockets of others. The people he is with use and exploit him for money. They agree with him until he gives them everything he has. Jimmy becomes the opposite of what he wished to be. He is clueless and loses all his money chasing riches.

  15.   Navneet Kaur said:

    The story “Eveline” by James Joyce wrote about a young lady that is in a problem. She’s conflicted in between choosing her own emotions and love or her duty on being a good daughter. After he mother died she now has the responsibilities of the house, her dad, and her brother. Despite these responsibilities she has a new one, Frank whose her lover. She’s torn in between choosing her lover or her family. After taking long hard thought she ends up choosing Frank over her family. She writes to her family remembering all happy thoughts and goes on to leave with Frank. Once she gets the dock to leave wit him she can’t pull her self through to leave. She ends up waiting at the dock and leaving Frank to be on his own. I felt bad for Frank because he put so much effort to arrange everything and she just left him at the end. That would honestly be me too though I would never be able to pull myslef to do such a thing so selfish, so I don’t blame her but at the same time she’s not right.

  16.   Rawdah Rahim said:

    “The Boarding House” gives readers two sides of marriage one that requires compromise and loss and the other that allows for promise and profit. After splitting with her abusive husband, Ms. Mooney who becomes “the Madam”, opens a boarding house to sustain a living for herself and her children. Her daughter stays back at home with her mother, and she finds herself overwhelmed with the number of men that surround her. Soon enough, she gets into a relationship with one of the boys. Instead of interfering, Ms Mooney observer vs the relationship between the two. After some time Ms. Mooney pressures Mr Doran to propose to Molly for the sake of keeping their reputation clean to the public eye. He reassures Polly but then again feels unsettled that he is marrying someone down the hierarchy and with no oe to support his decision. Like “Eveline” the indecisive thoughts linger Mr Dorans head because he does not want to break norms or routine, something that might affect him negatively. This story represents the perfect picture that everyone tries to maintain in society. The marriage in this passage was proposed in order to get rid of suspension and confirm stability.

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