Student Question

How does "Eveline" by James Joyce blend fantasy and reality?

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The fusion of reality and fantasy in "Eveline" reflects the protagonist's inner dilemma -- should she succumb to her oppressive daily routine or should she summon her courage, embrace a sense of adventure and leave Ireland?

Eveline is torn between two options -- staying as a dutiful daughter at her home where she has to take care of her overwhelming obligations and household tasks daily or trusting her lover, Frank, who promises to take her to Argentina for a better life. The new world, that is, the fantasy world, is embodied by Eveline's lover, Frank, who presents her with an opportunity to escape from her stifling everyday life to Argentina, where she can start over and find the security and love she needs. The real world is the world mainly represented through Eveline's relationship with her father, her present duties, and her memories of the past. The past memories, such as when she recalls that she promised her mother that she would keep the family together, remind Eveline of her responsibilities, and this seems to deter her from summoning enough courage to escape from Ireland.

Eveline's responsibilities prove to be too much to handle, and she eventually stays in Ireland, unable to break away from the duties imposed upon her.

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