Recognising that she will never recover the home she left, Eilis nevertheless seeks to forge an approximate one. As testimony to the transformative affect of Brooklyn, Tobin depicts Eilis as ambiguously both a family member and an outsider. At the same time, Toibin suggests that it is difficult for Eilis to procure employment in this insular town in a socially-conservative environment; she also appears denied of a rosy romantic future. These values are reflected in the laws and social conventions of different societies. However, the author will not suggest that all of these viewpoints are equally valid, or that the author shares the values expressed by every character. She went on about it being the best room in the house.

As KfC and John Self have pointed out, she tends to take the path of least resistance with almost no regard for who is pushing her. Create a concept map for Eilis and one of the other main characters Minor characters Minor characters receive less attention, but they can serve important functions such as: Foreshadowing a renewed cycle of loneliness and isolation, Eilis knows now just what she must forgo because of her perhaps rather hasty commitment to Tony. Characters and Characterisation Understanding characters is critical to your study of a narrative text. But, as Toibin also contradictorily suggests, the closer the ideal future seems within her grasp, the further distant it becomes.

She has an exterior confidence and a quiet sense of exoticism that set her apart owing to distance toibih difference — a difference that was also foreshadowed by Georgina on the initial journey to Brooklyn.

Give a textual example for each, for example, a quotation or an action taken by one of the main characters.

Brooklyn SAC and Exam Revision Page – ENGLISH WITH MR SOMMERS

But she ignores the future consequences. Eilis eventual recovery from homesickness is instigated by her determination to move on and not disappoint those around her. For instance – “Eilis’ decision to not allow her homesickness get to her allowed Eilis to strengthen her personality” – can you think of any examples toiibin when Eilis controls her feelings of homesickness?


The closing paragraph is outstanding: No matter what she dreamed about, no matter how bad she felt, she had no choice, she knew, but to put it all swiftly out of her mind. Kehoe one moment, Miss McAdam and her fellow lodgers the next, and then blaming herself, eventually coming to no conclusion except that it would be best if she stopped thinking about it altogether. She obtains employment, but suffers severe homesickness as she settles into a ghetto-like Irish enclave in Brooklyn.

Her loss is particularly acute because she is left with no-one to care for her in her old age, which is particularly worrying in socially conservative Ireland in the s. Toibin thrusts Eilis into a world of emotional anxiety and turmoil, exacerbated by her disconnection with her family. Consider the following questions and record your thoughts making sure to support your answers with close reference to the text.

Values are not necessary fixed: But I think this is part of the point. What types of conflicts or challenges physical, moral, intellectual, or emotional does Eilis face? How does Eilis react to the divisions among Europeans immigrants from different countries, as well as those between white and black Americans? By comparison her new home and her new life are inconsequential and unsubstantial.

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And not only that, but everything else that had happened in Brooklyn seemed as though it had almost dissolved and was no longer richly present for her — her room in Mrs. She seems to have little will of her own.

And she wondered then if she herself were the problem, reading malice into motives when there was none intended. Critical Readings Close Passage Analysis. And Diana has refused to stay in the basement on her own.


What are the consequences? She is already married to Tony, so things cannot work for both.

So she put you down there because none of the others would go. She has drifted her way into a corner. Her past continues to haunt her in the figure of Miss Kelly who reminds her of her inability to stay. In the town, if she walked to the shop or to the Vocational School, the cklm, the light, the ground, it was all solid and part of her, even if she met no one familiar.

How do they are they explored through the plot and characters? Some characters in the novel are referred to as Miss or Mrs. But as we also know, Jack soon cherishes his independence.

brooklyn colm toibin essay vce

Even though being homesick felt ‘like hell’, she knew that her family and the people at Bartocci would be disappoint if she was unable to muster the strength regain herself in the first few months. And this is the problem with Eilis.

brooklyn colm toibin essay vce

Describe five to ten differences between Brooklyn and Ireland during the s. Toibin exploits this by giving us so little of Eilis besides her seeming pliability. It occurred to her that he was as he appeared to her; there was no other side to him.

She simply burrows further into a situation that she knows will not bring her long-term happiness.