Brooklyn by Colm Toibin: A Discussion on Eilis' Life Controlled by Others

Pages: 2 (999 words) Published: May 19, 2015
1) ‘In both Ireland and Brooklyn, Eilis feels that her life is controlled by others.’ Discuss. The novel ‘Brooklyn’ written by Colm Toibin explores how the main protagonist – Eilis’s life is controlled by others. Eilis Lacey, a passive, quiet and acquiescent young lady, who is frightened of any conflict and generally considered as a ‘good girl’. According to the description in the novel, Eilis passively accepts Miss Kelly’s offer to work, takes the suggestion of Rose and leave Ireland away, even Eilis based on Tony’s desires, Eilis gets marriage with him. It can be seen from the novel that Eilis realizes her life is controlled by others wherever in Ireland or Brooklyn, however, she does not give any action to change the situation and she just follows the circumstance. But in fact, she feels her life is controlled by others in Ireland more than in Brooklyn. Toibin suggests us Eilis as a family member has social expectations to meet as well as taking care of herself and her family in the novel. Actually Eilis feels large pressure to be employed – as a family member feed by her sister and brothers. Therefore she is taking a job in Miss Kelly’s shop which she was not even agree too, however she only takes this job because “Eilis realised that she could not turn down the offer. It would be better than nothing and, at the moment, she had nothing.” She always feels she has no choice, she can only choose let people control her life. On the visit to Eilis’s home, Father Flood like a salesman – selling the concept of employment in America to Eilis’s family and persuade her to America by her family soon afterwards because Eilis needs a better job. “… It had somehow been tacitly arranged that Eilis would go to America. Father Flood, she believed, had been invited to the house because Rose knew that he could arrange it.” As Rose does not approve of her job at Miss Kelly’s. “Rose had organised everything.” Even though America is so far away from Ireland, they still...
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