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“All Summer in a Day” and “Eveline”: Desire to Return to the Past

The contrasts between the past and the current settings are of special interest to numerous writers, who explored the emotional significance of nostalgia in their works. As the surrounding environment changes with time, many individuals perceive a development in their psychological well-being, which might be drastically impacted by a considerable distinction between the previous background and the newly experienced alterations. The works All Summer in a Day by Ray Bradbury and Eveline by James Joyce analyze the negative effects of reminiscence and obsession with memories, presenting the stories of Margot and Eveline. This essay will investigate and compare the two protagonists’ relations to their current, past, and future possible settings and the feelings they associate with them.

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The positive emotions encountered in previous times might become a catalyst for a pessimistic attitude towards the present circumstances. In the short story All Summer in a Day, Bradbury exemplifies the psychological toll experienced by a young girl, Margot, who is longing to return to her previous habitat on Earth. The atmosphere of Venus, the constant rains, and the absolute lack of sunlight drastically affect the character, causing severe nostalgia for the sunny environment of Earth. Margot avoids participating in games with other children, only manifesting positive emotions during sun-related activities: “Only when they sang about the sun and the summer did her lips move” (Bradbury, 1931, p. 5). Similarly to this scenario, the protagonist of the short writing, Eveline, undergoes corresponding difficulties with accepting her new surroundings. At the current time, Eveline is heartbroken, and “she would not cry many tears at leaving the Stores” (Joyce, 1989, p. 3). Therefore, both characters demonstrate a distinct level of displeasure with the current environment, aspiring to return to their previous settings.

The longing for the past and a possibility of a prosperous future is particularly evident in the two protagonists’ thoughts. Troubled by the constant rains and bullying from other kids, Margot desires to return to her home environment, where she was once happy and content. To portray the young girl’s memories’ regarding the sun, the writer uses a simile: “Margot remembered. ‘It’s like a penny,’ she once said, eyes closed” (Bradbury, 1931, p. 5). By matching the sun to a penny, Bradbury explains that Margot’s reflections are still vivid and lively. In contrast, although Eveline also reminisces about her past, she is eagerly expecting the future changes, imagining the new environment of Argentina where she will be joyful again. However, this expectation is darkened by the woman’s fear of the unknown, represented in the image of the sea. The author uses a metaphor to distinguish Eveline’s dread of the future changes, as “all the seas of the world tumbled about her heart” (Joyce, 1989, p. 5). Overall, while both protagonists demonstrate an explicit desire to return to their past settings, Eveline displays an intention to change her current environment, even though she cannot overcome her fear.

To conclude, the connections between the two protagonists’ past, current, and future circumstances in the works All Summer in a Day and Eveline were discussed in detail in this essay, specifying the characters’ emotional states. The phenomena of nostalgia and obsession with the past events are clearly observable in the behavior of Margot and Eveline, who aspire to return to their previous environment to regain the happiness they once had. Nevertheless, while Margot is infatuated only with the past, Evelin also presents an intention to escape the undesired setting, which is confronted by her distress towards leaving the familiar sights.

References

Bradbury, R. (1931). All Summer in a Day. Duckworths.

Joyce, J. (1989). Eveline. Creative Co.

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StudyCorgi. "“All Summer in a Day” and “Eveline”: Desire to Return to the Past." December 27, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/all-summer-in-a-day-and-eveline-desire-to-return-to-the-past/.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "“All Summer in a Day” and “Eveline”: Desire to Return to the Past." December 27, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/all-summer-in-a-day-and-eveline-desire-to-return-to-the-past/.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) '“All Summer in a Day” and “Eveline”: Desire to Return to the Past'. 27 December.

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