In James Joyce's "Eveline," what is it that renders Eveline paralyzed?

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This is a tough question, partly because there is no clear answer. One of the enduring confusions about James Joyce's "Eveline" is the protagonist 's unwillingness to leave with her lover, Frank, and escape from the miserable life she so clearly detests. Eveline is clearly desperate to escape her backbreaking life caring for her younger siblings and living with her abusive father - "Escape!" she thinks to herself at one point. "She must escape! Frank would save her." (41) - and yet, when Frank urges her to leave with him, Joyce says Eveline "set her white face to him, passive, like a helpless animal. Her eyes gave him no sign of love or farewell or recognition" (43). What are we to make of Eveline's paradoxical...

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