Frank in ‘Eveline by James Joyce Essay

1. Introduction

The following paper will deal with the character Frank in James Joyce’s “Eveline” from his collection of short stories Dubliners. The focus of this paper will be to investigate whether Frank’s motivations for taking the story’s main character Eveline with him are based on honest romantic feelings towards her or whether he fits the stereotypical picture of the sailor who is “yarning a girl into his bed in every port” (Ingersoll 59) and rather uses her. So the research question of this paper is as it follows: Is Frank a lying seducer or is he the savior Eveline is seeking?

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A discussion how to interpret Frank’s motivations has developed on the basis of Hugh Kenner’s “Molly’s Masterstroke” and is fairly controversial. On the one hand, there is Kenner’s opinion of Frank as a common sailor who only tries to seduce Eveline, on the other hand, there are scholars who identify Frank as Eveline’s savior from her domestic life and strongly dispute on Kenner’s point of view.To begin with, it is inevitable to have a brief insight on the text regarding Eveline’s domestic situation and her interior struggle to understand why she considers leaving with Frank in the first place. In the further course of the paper, the research question will be analyzed by first having a look on how Frank is described by the story’s third person narrator with Eveline as the focalizer. Focalization “refers to the lens through which we see characters and events in the narrative” (Abbot73), meaning that the reader sees through the eyes of the focalizer and hence witnesses their subjective view. Then, the possible importance of the name Frank, their destination Buenos Aires, their planned journey and finally his behavior towards Eveline will be exam…

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St. Jean, Shawn, “Readerly Paranoia and Joyce’s Adolescence Stories”. James Joyce Quarterly 35.4/36. 1 (1998): 665-682. Print.


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