What are Eveline´s reasons for staying in Dublin in james Joyce's "Eveline"?

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Duty and paralysis are two of the major themes of James Joyce's Dubliners, and the eponymous character in "Eveline" suffers from both when she is incapable of leaving Dublin to Buenos Ayres.

The vast majority of the story occurs with Eveline sitting at her window, looking out at the streets of her childhood and noticing how things have changed—the neighborhood, her family, her relationship with her father. Throughout the story, Joyce employs free indirect discourse, delving into the mind of Eveline and revealing that she keeps thinking about the promise she made her mother to "to keep the...

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olivercb17 | Student

Eveline does not have "reasons" for staying in Dublin; she has many reasons for leaving, however: to escape her alcoholic father; to avoid living the life her mother lived, a "life of common-place sacrifices closing in final craziness"; to get the greater respect she thinks she will receive as a married woman.

All these are reasons to leave Dublin. Her failure to leave is exactly that--failure. She has many reasons to leave and no reasons to stay, other than her promise to her mother "to keep the home together as long as she could." She goes to the dock to leave, but at the last moment, despite all her reasons for leaving, she cannot bring herself to do it. This is not a choice born out of reasons or reason, it is a failure to act, a "paralysis." This word appears in the first paragraph of "The Sisters," the first story in the collection The Dubliners, which also contains "Eveline." Paralysis as a theme runs through the stories.

In the end, Eveline's paralyzed failure to act reduces her to something beneath the level of reason and reasons, as conveyed by the narrator's words at the end (the last four words are the key): "She set her white face to him, passive, like a helpless animal."