In "Eveline,"Joyce actually portrays a complex human psychology of the protagonist 'torn between extremities.' Comment on it.

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dule05 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

"Eveline" is a story in which the protagonist struggles to make a choice out of the two options that both present no satisfying solution. Namely, Eveline is a 19-year-old woman, who is presented as a very conflicted character. On the one hand, she desires to abandon her home and her abusive father for the sake of attaining security and love, embodied by her lover, Frank. On the other hand, she is aware that if she leaves, she will no longer be able to enjoy the familiarity and comfort represented by her home, and she has no tangible evidence that her life will be better with Frank. Her dilemma is best expressed in the following sentences:

She had consented to go away, to leave her home. Was that wise? She tried to weigh each side of the question.

Eveline is in a very agonizing situation. In order to leave her home, she must summon an unbelievable amount of courage, yet, she cannot. If she were to leave her home, her action would be seen as unreasonable and radical. So, despite going to the port to board the ship which would take her to Argentina with Frank, she refuses to leave Ireland and is described as a " a helpless animal," devoid of initiative to change her life.