Eilis character notes
Ellis “never made mistakes when she did her addition” ; Devout Catholic – she attended mass every Sunday in Insincerity ;Ellis immigrating to America was entirely Rose’s initiative -as Rose and her mother collude with Father Flood, Ellis feels “like a child” whose fate is being decided for her. ; Ellis is, by nature, reserved and emotionally guarded. She is selective in her relationships and shies away from physical intimacy.
It is not easy for her to express her true feelings, even those closest to her. This particularly evident in her relationship with Tony….. ;When Ellis does not have the confidences to act on her instincts, she makes mistakes. The foremost is her impulsive marriage to Tony, but her resentment to Jim Farrell is another. ; Throughout the text, her actions are generally informed by the twin values of connection to family and a clearly defined sense of duty. ; Her generosity is constant, and Tony calls her a “good person”. Yet the internal conflict generated by her return home causes her to lie by omission and to behave with great cruelty towards the unsuspecting Jim. ; Approximately twenty years old Young women from Insincerity Immigrates to America for work Works in Barstool’s department store in Brooklyn Studies bookkeeping; ; During the course of the novel she becomes romantically involved with Tony Fiercely and Jim Farrell. ; She matures over the course of the novel, “you seem more grown up and serious. And in your American clothes you look different.
You have an air about you” (Nancy, p. 230) ; Her independence and resilience are revealed gradually. She has to exercise her Judgment and make critical choices with little guidance or support. Her initial naivety is balanced by natural curiously and a determination to learn. ; She takes the opportunities provided to educate herself, and as the word opens up before her, embraces new ideas with less diffidence than before. Living in New York encourages assertiveness, and Ellis becomes more inclined to trust herself.
At work, she learns to be “brave and decisive”. ; Returning to Insincerity, Ellis slips back into the rhythm of the town easily and finds comfort in its familiar faces and rituals. Yet the changes produced by her experiences in America are obvious to all, “Everything about you is different”, her friend Nancy insist: “you seem more grown up and serious. And in our American clothes you look different. You have an air about you. ” ;Her poise and self-assurance intimidated her mother, however attracted Jim Farrell.