Every decision any one chooses to make is a focal point; balance between what we want and what we need. This point is the fine line between a desired life and a life that we struggle with. Sometimes however, the world that we struggle with is also a world that unknowingly, we desire, as in the case of the protagonist of James Joyce’s short story “Eveline”. As with other stories in Dubliners main characters are set out into a voyage, which represents a decision or serious choice, with a potential for life altering effects. In many of Eveline’s thoughts she sees her lover Frank is a symbol of change from a livelihood where she is a servant to a situation where she is respected and equal, when in reality he isn’t much different from what she is living with, Throughout the story you ask yourself what would have happened if Eveline made the opposite decision. What would have happened if she got on the boat? Why did she decide not to? And how might she have made a compromise?
Eveline’s choices seem to be clear, go get on the boat and live a life where she would be happy, with some one who would love and would treat her more respect then her father did. However there is always another side to every action. Eveline pictures her lover Frank as a protective figure just as she did her father, but the major difference being that she didn’t suspect him of being abusive like her father was. However this is more of unlikely fantasy.
The hope that Frank will be an unconditionally loving father is the result of a feminine fantasy on her part about belonging to a benevolent phallic economy that would regard her as a particularly valuable object of exchange.
Eveline projecting her desire of having this “perfect father” who would protect and love her, and most importantly fill in the roll of her father and then some, upon Frank is a result of her feeling as if she is a “valuable object of exchange”. The piece is written from a male perspective and treats Eveline and women in...