In "Eveline" by James Joyce, what made Eveline give her consent to go with Frank?

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durbanville | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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"Eveline" is one of the short stories from James Joyce's Dubliners series. Eveline is tired of her life. She is only nineteen but already the weight of her duties and responsibilities, and the thought of what lies ahead if she stays, makes her reflect on her situation. She has made a choice to leave and has "consented" to go away with Frank, and to be married because she wants a chance at a better life, which is something Eveline knows her mother was never able to do.

There can be no doubt that Eveline is conflicted in her decision and is trying to visualize her future. She is acutely aware of her unstable relationship with her father, who has a tendency toward violence from which she is only saved by the memory of her mother. Eveline feels alone and laments the fact that "everything changes." She wishes for a time when life was simple, her mother was alive, and she and her siblings were children, although she knows that it was a less than perfect existence. She feels safe in the memory, whereas now all she has is uncertainty.

She ponders her decision to leave with Frank; another reason why she agreed to go is because she wants to be treated with respect and she wants to feel safe. Her father's outbursts and recent threats indicate that he does not value his daughter; his threats could become reality because there is no one left to protect her. Frank will protect her and she can create new memories even though, as fear of the unknown creeps in, "home" suddenly does not seem so bad. This thought frightens her and she knows that she has to "escape"; she has agreed to go with Frank because he will "save her" from this existence. She has a right to happiness, too. Unfortunately for Eveline, she will be paralyzed by her uncertainty and her future full of potential will not be realized. 

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