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Dying to Leave, Needing to Stay

  • Date Submitted: 10/02/2011 01:50 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 73.1 
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Desiree Nugent
Unit 1 Review Essay
WC: 545

Dying to leave, needing to stay
Eveline, the main character of Joyce’s short story in Chapter 1, has a chance to leave her musty, mundane life at home to travel the world with Frank but decides to stay because her family needs her.   She made a dying promise to her mother that she would “keep the home together as long as she could”, she had to help support her family and most importantly she had to see that the two young children were taken care of if she left, her father would have new responsibilities. Eveline decides that it is more important for her to stay and be miserable than it would be for her to be free and happy.
Eve line’s promise to her mother was most likely given in the “emotion of the moment”. She did         not think about the consequences of that promise and that it would entitle her to forever miserable. Eveline was trying to make her mother happy and calm in her dying moment. Evelines catholic religion would not let her break this promise made to her mother.   This promise keeps her from enjoying her own life and feeling guilty for wanting out.
The house needs Eveline there to be complete. Her father doesn’t take of the kids nor clean like she does. She handles all of the house responsibilities. Eveline feels the need to stay to help her father. She describes him as “becoming old lately and would miss her” .She describes how sometimes he could be nice by reading her a ghost story or by making her toast by the fire. She worked at a job that she hated and gave her father all of her earnings. Her father refused to give her any money to spend on herself and would accuse her of squandering money while he went out on Saturday nights gambling and drinking.
She hesitates to leave the children she feels responsible for. She feels responsible for these young children who had been left to her charge to make sure they went to school regularly and got their meals regularly. If Eveline left, she...


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