COMMENTO: Dubliners di James Joyce – Eveline
Benvenuti al secondo appuntamento con Dubliners! Dopo avervi parlato di due racconti a tema infanzia (QUI), oggi affrontiamo il secondo gradino del percorso di vita presentato da Joyce, ovvero l’adolescenza. In questo post vi parlerò del mio racconto preferito di tutta la collezione: ecco a voi l’affascinante e incerta Eveline, protagonista del quarto racconto dell’opera.
N.B. Il commento contiene qualche spoiler.
I think Eveline is my favorite story from Dubliners, because I simply loved the protagonist. I usually prefer when stories are told in first-person narrative, because it is easier to dig into the character’s mind and understand his or her point of view. However, in this short story Joyce really shows his mastery of free indirect discourse while reproducing the character’s flow of thoughts; sometimes it can be more difficult to follow the character’s ideas when everything is written as a stream of consciousness, but in this case Joyce’s pen is easy to appreciate, thoughts don’t overlap and everything is quite clear.
This story is a voyage into Eveline’s mind: Joyce gives us the opportunity to live Eveline’s feelings, to understand her perspective on the world and her decisions.
Eveline’s thoughts are clearly written, but this doesn’t mean she’s a dull lame character; on the contrary I would say she’s extremely fascinating. From the outside she seems a quiet and ordinary girl who doesn’t what to disobey her duties and her father’s voice; nevertheless we can understand that she’s much more than that: inside her heart there is a storm she’s struggling to master. Eveline is facing the most important decision of her life and she doesn’t know what to do; she can choose between two different paths, but her problem is to understand what is right and what is not for herself. Eveline desires to start a new life abroad with Frank, she wants to marry him and to be considered a respectful woman; she wants to be happy and she hopes that Frank can give her the happiness she’s looking for. In spite of this, the girl is uncertain about leaving the country with Frank. From the beginning of the story we understand Eveline is reluctant about the idea of leaving her family and because of that she recalls her childhood, the happy moments spent with her siblings and her friends. If Eveline had really been sure about leaving the country, she wouldn’t have looked back, instead she can’t let her family go, she’s trapped by her memories. She continuously changes her mind: she thinks about the good reasons she has to leave Ireland, but then doubts and fears overwhelm her. Even her lover, Frank, at the beginning described as a kind and open-hearted man, ends up being a man of doubtful honesty in her mind and Eveline questions herself about her feelings for him. It seems she’s trying to convince herself that she won’t be happy with Frank to hide the real reason she doesn’t want to leave Ireland, that is to say the promise she made to her dead mother to keep the family together as long as she could. Even if I understand her decision and Joyce’s message about the paralysis of Dublin, I don’t share her final decision, because she has always done her best to help her family, so it was time for her to fly away and enjoy a new life of love and happiness.
Cosa ne pensate? Conoscete il racconto?