Eveline, having been raised Catholic endured a very dutiful and obedient childhood. As she had dreams and expectations of a life outside of this one, she would soon come to find the promise she has made to her dying mother, as well as to God would become more daunting a task then she could overcome. The oppressive honor of the past, struggles with Eveline s desire for a happier life.
Eveline along with her father and two younger children left in her charge lived in what appeared to be a very poor neighborhood filled with different ethnic backgrounds common for the time. The interior was scantily decorated; a photo of a priest who has no name, the knick- knacks and the harmonium where all located in the living room. The instrument surely had not had the sounds of joy nor hope echo through its pipes she had dusted so often, these things proved to be just more reminders of a promise given to her mother, whose soul is long gone and yet not forgotten.
Eveline s feelings towards her father had faded over the years. In her childhood years she had two brothers (and an undisclosed amount of sisters) to buffer the brunt of her fathers rage, now she now has to face it alone. The happier memories of a childhood where much harder to recollect, especially on Saturday night, having to appropriate money from her drunken father in order to purchase the basic necessities of life. Thinking she would wastefully spend the money, Eveline s father would make this effort no easy task. Her eldest brother would send what money he could spare earned from decorating churches in the country.
Eveline remembered her mother as a women loving and committed to her family, this same type of commitment followed by Eveline would prove to be her down fall. The resentment felt by Eveline toward her mother for leaving her so soon in life as well as the responsibility of caring for the family may be viewed as just and righteous.
Frank who apparently blew into Eveline s life just as the waves are blown by the wind. Full of promising hope for a life far more respectful and adventurous than the one she might have left behind. She hoped she had found her knight in shining armor. Her father s view of Frank was one of suspect and contempt. While they wait to board among the sea of people, Eveline s fears and doubts have taken over. The promise of a new life with Frank shows through in the cold blank stare found within Eveline s eyes. While Eveline grasps the iron rail it is self-evident and ironic this is the same iron grasp she has so desperately tried to escape.
The decision Eveline made will be pondered over for years to come; her decision was foolish. The debt to her mother has been repaid in full, as a result for Eveline to throw her young vibrant life away the way she did, on an unappreciative, abusive, alcoholic, father; is a grave injustice to her self as well as to Frank.