WOMEN of the Nineteenth Century
How lucky would women consider themselves today? Reading the short stories “Eveline,” by James Joyce and “A Rose for Emily,” by William Faulkner many women would definitely consider themselves fortunate to have been born in the 21st century versus the 19th century. There are some disparities in the definition of equality, but it is much more in comparison to the treatment of women in the nineteenth century. The writers in these stories attempt to visualize and represent life of women in the 19th century society. The women in the nineteenth century experienced a high level of repression at home and by outside society. This repression affected their life expectations. Women suffered many internal conflicts with their attempts to live and survive in a male-dominated, repressive society.
In the short story “Eveline,” the greatest conflict that Eveline encounters is breaking her promise to her mother. She plans to leave home to elope with a man named Frank to Buenos Aires. In the beginning, she reminisces of her child hood.
She speaks of her childhood with good and bad, painful memories. These painful memories of her life include her father’s beating her with a blackthorn stick.
Eveline’s mother has died and living with her father is demanding. She works outside her home and is still responsible for maintaining the household and keeping the house together. As the story continues, Eveline describes the hardships and sufferings she experienced living with him after her mother died. During these times because her mother had died and since she was unmarried she would be responsible for the woman’s duties in her father’s house. “In a Victorian family, the father was head of the family. His wife and children respected him and obeyed him….” (1). The Woman was not allowed to express them. More often than not if they did attempt to lend an opinion or complaint, it was shrugged off or discounted.
Eveline’s reminiscing of good...