The letters also become a sign of absence and homesickness. At the dance, Jim appears offhanded and rejects Eilis. Her pleasantness, her industriousness, her intelligence are all undermined and overshadowed by her unwillingness to confront and shape her own future. Yet somehow that delight seemed to come with a shadow, and she wondered as she watched him if she herself, in all her uncertainty and distance from him, was the shadow and nothing else. The rooms in the house on Friary Street belonged to her, she thought; when she moved in them she was really there. Tobin therefore suggests that such subtle personal relationships and sensitive feelings are what make the difference with Eilis and help her carve a substitute home characterised by commitment, devotion and passion. Each moment along the way she was enjoying herself and did not want to hurt their feelings.

Rose is appropriately concerned. But as we also know, Jack soon cherishes his independence. And she will damage either Tony or Jim, or both. Though she is passive, she sees herself as a shadowy actor. She went through all of it as though she were trying to recover what had seemed so filled with detail, so solid, just a few weeks before.

Eilis is ultimately unable to determine which of these very different versions of reality to believe. When she, Nancy, George, and Jim head off to the beach, Eilis examines the surroundings as they go.

Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín

For each of the main characters write a summary of important information such as: She wished now that she had not married him, not because she did not love him and intend to return to him, but because not telling her mother or her friends made every day she had spent in America a sort of fantasy, something she could not match with the time she was spending at home.


This was where Eilis had come with Rose and her brothers and her parents when they were children, but she had not been there for years nor thought about it. This time the echo is of the scene where Eilis watches Tony from afar and sees herself a shadow. In fact, she actually thanks Miss Kelly. Write paragraph responses to each of the following questions.

Brooklyn by Colm Toibin – English Works

She knows this and feels alone because no one else understands how one of her two selves will necessarily die. Kehoe could have used her, the only lodger who did not seem to know why Miss Keegan had left. For the first time Eilis, too, is aware of not being oclm by either Rose or their mother.

Whilst her mother continues to symbolise absence and the toibim of her Irish roots, Eilis also forges a homely relationship with Tony Fiorello and his surrogate family that will only ever be a substitute. When she returns to Ireland, she finds that her feelings are somewhat reversed. She almost smiled at the thought of it, then closed her eyes and tried to imagine nothing more. Eilis takes it without complaint. Consider the following questions and record your thoughts making sure to support your answers with close reference to the text.

Brooklyn by Colm Toibin

It was false, esssay, she thought. She does not want to hurt Jim at the beach, so she agrees to go into the water, deepening his attachment to her. There is a self-centeredness to her passivity. For instance – “Eilis’ decision to not allow her homesickness get to her allowed Eilis to strengthen her personality” – can you think of any examples of when Eilis controls her feelings of homesickness?


[English] Text Response – Colm Toibin’s Brooklyn essay marking please? 🙂

Not all societies share the same set of values. Whilst Brooklyn represents the necessity of a new home and obligation com is once again divided by the fact that it necessarily represents what she has lost: Contrastingly, on the positive side, Eilis has inherited the personal strength from her mother, and her pride and dignity prompt her return.

brooklyn colm toibin essay vce

Something happens to Rose that, in retrospect, makes you re-examine the reasons she might have urged Eilis to move to America. In any case, that was what she would do. He was the one who was reluctant to set himself up once again for rejection thus cementing a bond between them that will, perhaps sadly, never be realised.

As Eilis begins night classes in accounting, she notes the divisions between Italian and Jewish students, and the lack of English or other Irish students. State which characters possess these values and which do not, giving a brief quotation or explanation for each. These values are reflected in the laws and social conventions of different societies.

brooklyn colm toibin essay vce

After all, she is still young enough that her mother, her older sister Roseand Father Flood arrange for her brookly go to America without consulting her until after the decision has been made. Click on the tabs! Eilis is a light character.

Furthermore, Tony and his family offer her the chance to start anew in America. He writes with a great deal of ambiguity and irony.

Rose is appropriately concerned.

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