I was never the person to forget a friend, or leave unrequited a favor, when I had the payment of it in my power. From the moment Evans took his first drink to the countless losses he experienced throughout the duration of the novel, it was tough to have much hope for him. After his childhood, he operated a hand press for both the Long Island Patriot and the Star until his family returned to rural Long Island. The worthy uncle, who had kindly housed and fed me when I was quite too small to make him any repayment for that service, received in his old age the means to render his life more easy and happy. Conway - After marrying Margaret, Evans meets Mrs. Change is Always Possible: Contexts[ edit ] An introduction to a modern reprint of Franklin Evans, written by Christopher Castiglia and Glenn Hendler, serves as a detailed preface to the novel. Coinciding with Success after Struggle, Whitman conveys both themes in conjunction with one another. The authors also touch on Whitman's journalism of the s. The theme of the novel seems to be addiction, not alcoholism. Overall, Castiglia and Hendler offer a special focus on labor and social reform of the times as possible reasons for the novel. Their marriage was not very pleasant because Evans did not really love her; he only thought he did in his drunken state. After battling times of intemperance since he first arrived in New York, Evans finally achieves some sort of satisfaction at the end. For example, he writes "Oh, fatal pleasure", not "Oh, fatal alcohol". This idea of sexuality is the main focus of many of Whitman's poems, too. This image helps Evans reflect on what he could have become had he not quit drinking.