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The previous post was very accurate. I would also like to add that I understood the ending differently:
To me, Eveline did change. At the beginning, she was actually a dreamer, and a person full of hope and plans to elope with Frank. She had a hope of freedom away from Dublin. She welcomed the possibility of change, and even saw herself living a life much different than that of her mother. She even took the step to write a farewell letter to his father and brother, which would be completely out of the question.
Once she met Frank at the docks, all of that changed. She froze in a moment of panic and fear of breaking from the world that she knew, from the promises she made her mother, from her father and brother, and from the memories of her past. From hopeful and promising, she reverted to stuck and static. She changed in that she tossed away her gameplan and opted to remain the person she was before she met Frank.
Strangely enough, the girl for whom the short story 'Eveline' by James Joyce is named, is not that much different at the end of the story than at the beginning, (except in one respect) as the author was concerned with the idea of 'stasis' or how things remain suspended in time, unchanged - paralysed even. The one respect that is different is in Eveline letting go of her dreams that one day things will actually change for her - and become different. This happens when,glued to the barrier rail at the embarkation dock, she finds she cannot move forward or back as she accepts that she will stay with the familiar but stiflingly unfair and boring world she has inherited from her mother - because it is all she knows through duty and experience. She watches her beau sail away to foreign climes without her.
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