James Joyce in Eveline, presents the life of a young Irish woman named Eveline whose life is rough and miserable and has to make a titanic decision that will have an huge impact in her future .Eveline, who is about nineteen years old, and in charge of the house where she lives with her father since her mother died, has to choose to either escape her house and leave with Frank, her boyfriend, for a hopeful happiness, or refuse leaving with Frank and accomplish her promise to her mother to keep the home together as long as she could. After a lot of thought, Eveline makes the right decision in refusing to leave with Frank for several reasons, such as Franks unreliability, her mothers promise to keep the house together, and the fact that no one will take care of the family if she leaves: even though she may keep living for other people the rest of her life, and may probably end up like her mother.
Frank, Evelines boyfriend, is a sailor and Irish, wants Eveline to come with him in Buenos Aires to be his wife, and says to her that over there he has a home waiting for her. However, Frank being an Irish as Eveline knows that if she gets marry somewhere other than her country, she will be violating her traditions so are his. He knows that the Irish culture would like the two of them to get marry in Ireland, but still wants to marry Eveline in Argentina, which shows that Frank is less concerned about her. Someone reliable will marry Eveline in Dublin to respect her ritual, to make her feel confident, and will not force her to violate her practice by asking her to marry him some place where she has no family and friends. Someone who stands against his own religion says a lot about that persons character, and in Frank case particularly you see that he is someone who you cannot trust. Eveline even thinks that Frank does not love her, and that he may leave her by herself once they get there to Argentina. Also, Eveline is confused by Franks song which is about the lass that loves a sailor. She does not know what he means, and she wonders if he is either describing himself as all regular sailors who have the reputation to play with women for a while and leave them, or expressing his love for her through the song. In any scenario, Frank does not show any signs of love to her, and that makes him unreliable about everything he has said to her.
Evelines mother before dying, requested Eveline to keep the house together as long as she could. Although it is a huge task for a young woman to assume, Eveline has decided to stay because she does want to disappoint her mother even though she is dead already. She knows that if her mother has asked her to accomplish such a big task is because she believes in her, she trusts her, and she knows that Eveline is her only daughter capable to keep the house clean and in order. Eveline knows herself if she leaves no one will dust the objects once a week as she used to do.
Also, Eveline decided not to leave with Frank to Buenos Aires because no one will take care of her father who is getting old and the two siblings who are under her charge. Eveline is afraid of something happening to her father who has depended on her for many years while she will be away. She will not be happy with herself knowing that her fathers health is not good enough and therefore anything (illness, disease) can happen to him at anytime, and she will not be there to assist and help him. Moreover, she worries about the siblings future without her around them to supervise, they will be abandoned to themselves, and chance for them to succeed in life without someone paying close attention to them is naught. Eveline does not want to feel guilty about the fall short of her family, that is why she decided to stay with them and help them anyhow she can.
Overall, Eveline makes a right choice by deciding not to leave with Frank because he does not really love her and wants her to defy her Irish customs by forcing her to get marry somewhere else than her country, she does want to disappoint her mother by not keeping her promise to keep the home together as long as she could, and she does want to see her family suffering without her next to them to help them. Will she be happy of her decision?