Eveline returns to her miserable existence. She was afraid of starting a life with Frank. She felt responsible for taking care of her family. Eveline is insecure about her life.
Eveline was afraid to start her new life with Frank, as she just met him at the beginning of his holiday. Frank N. Magill suggests that a similar event happened to James Joyce; When he met the love of his life, Nora Barnacle, and wanted to take her away from Ireland(1745). Eveline knew nothing of his family background. She only knew of some of his naval background. She didn't know anything about Buenos Ayres. She didn't know if the people there would treat her kindly or not. Her father might have worried her when he stated "I know those sailor chaps".
Eveline feels responsible for caring for her family. She must take care of the two younger children. Ian Ousby suggests that James Joyce had the same situation with his own two children(527). Eveline must care for her father. She must care for the house where they live. She is responsible for insuring that the family is fed and that the children are attending school. Eveline feels that she must do what her mother told her to do by "keeping the family together as long as she could." Stanley J. Kunitz says James Joyce was summoned to his mothers deathbed, where he stayed by her side until her death four months later(735).
Eveline is insecure about her life. She does nothing when Miss Gavin yells at her and bosses her around when customers are present. Eveline can't make any decisions about her life. She can't commit to anything (i.e. her life with Frank). Clive Hart suggests that in James Joyce's "Eveline", Eveline is oppressed by her surroundings and even though she is afforded the opportunity to escape Eveline refuses to leave(698).
Eveline's existence is miserable due to the fact that she is insecure and feels responsible for her families well-being, a fact which leads to her decision of leaving Frank.
Hart, Clive. Benet's Reader's Encyclopedia. Ed. Ruth Lee.
4th ed. NY: HarperCollins, 1948. 698-699.
Kunitz, Stanley, ed. Twentieth Century Authors. USA: The
H. W. Wilson company, 1942. 735-737.
Magill, Frank, ed. Critical Survey of Poetry. California:
Salem, 1992. 1744-1749.
Ousby, Ian, ed. The Cambridge Guide to Literature in
English. NY: Guild, 1988. 526-527.