In "Never" by H. E. Bates, does Nellie reach the intended destination? 

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teachsuccess eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The answer is that Nellie never reaches her intended destination.

In the story, Nellie wants to leave her village because she is tired of her humdrum existence. As a matter of practice, her daily schedule consists of eating, mending, playing the piano, and playing cards. Nellie is tired of her monotonous life, and she decides that a change will infuse her life with greater meaning.

When she looks at the train schedule, she notices that the train leaves for Elden at 6:13, for Olde at 6:18, and for London at 7:53. She imagines that she will go to either Elden or Olde. Since there are people who know her at Olde, Nellie decides that she will go to Elden. Immediately after she makes up her mind, Nellie packs her bag with some money and her favorite "blue dress with the rosette." She makes her way to the station, reveling in the fact that she is going away.

At the train station, she feels sad that she is alone but reassures herself that she will soon leave her old life behind. As she waits, however, she notices that the train seems to be late in coming. When she does consult her watch, it tells her that it is almost 6:30. Despite all her planning and haste to leave, Nellie fails to get to the station on time. She is dejected at her apparent failure but tries to reassure herself that, "This isn’t the only day. Some day I shall go. Some day."

Despite her spirited attempts at bravado, Nellie finds herself going back to the repetitive practices that she despises. She plays the same waltz over and over again and the "dreamy, sentimental arrangement" makes her cry. With little to look forward to in life, Nellie falls back on habitual practices that leave her feeling empty and hopeless.

literaturenerd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Prior to answering the question, I need to explain the edit to it. Since the question posed numerous questions, and posts must include only one specific question, I have edited the question. Since the question was posted numerous times, I have edited each one to post only one question.

In "Never" by H. E. Bates, Nellie never does reach her destination. Desiring to escape from a life surrounded by people she hated, a life which changed her, and a life with which she did nothing, Nellie makes plans to leave for Elden or Olde. Unfortunately, Nellie misses her train and fails to escape her life.

Curiously enough, Nellie makes no real plans to escape. She packs her bag hurriedly (not thinking of taking much but a blue dress). Her bag only contains things which she cannot remember being of much importance. Even right before leaving, Nellie plays a waltz and thinks about how she will never have to listen to it again. This moment forces her to be late for her train away from the life she states she despises so much. 

In essence, Nellie does not seem to really want to leave. Her lack of planning and taking the time to listen to the waltz allows one to infer that she is not very serious about leaving. Therefore, not only does her lateness insure she misses the train, her lack of true necessity does as well. 

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