A Summary and Analysis of James Joyce's Eveline (2023)

An in-depth reading of Dr. Joyce's story. Olivier Tearle

"Eveline" is one of the shorter stories that make upJames JoycecollectionDublin(1914), a volume that initially was not a commercial success (only 379 copies were sold in its first year of publication, 120 of which were purchased by Joyce himself). We analyze the collection as a whole and synthesize each of the stories it containsDublin,on here.

StillDublinhe redefined the short story and is now considered a classic work of modernist fiction, each of his fifteen short stories is worth watching.pasture analysis. "Eveline" revolves around a 19-year-old Irish girl who plans to leave her abusive father and impoverished existence in Ireland and pursue a new, better life for herself and her lover Frank in Buenos Aires. You can read Evelineon here.

Eveline: Plot Summary

First, a brief synopsis of Eveline. Eveline is a young woman who lives in Dublin with her father. Sua mãe de ella morreu. Eveline dreams of a better life beyond the shores of Ireland and plans to elope with Frank, a sailor who is her secret lover (Eveline's father forbade Eveline from seeing Frank after the two men quarreled) and start a new life. life in Argentina With her mother away, Eveline takes care of the day-to-day running of the household: her father is drunk and reluctant to do his share of the weekly chores, and her brother Harry is busy and travels a lot on business (another brother, Ernest, morreu).

Eveline herself works in a store. On Saturday nights, when she asks her father for some money, he tends to make an abusive speech and often gets drunk. When she finally hands over the house money, Eveline has to go to the store and buy groceries for Sunday lunch at the last minute. Eveline is fed up with this life, so she and Frank book a ship that leaves for Argentina. But when he is about to board the ship, Eveline suffers from a lack of determination and fails. He turns without saying a word and heads home, leaving Frank alone on board the ship.

Eveline: Analisar

(Video) Dubliners by James Joyce | Eveline

How many stories inDublinEveline examines the relationship between the past and the future by examining a person's attitude towards their life in Dublin. Interested in this relationship, Joyce believed that Ireland, which often had the habit of looking back longingly and clinging to the past, needed to move forward and strive to catch up.

Unlike writers and artists such as WB Yeats, who subscribed to the "Celtic Twilight", a mythical and traditional view of Ireland as a land of fairies and history, Joyce wanted to see Ireland fit into the modern world.

In many ways, Eveline typifies the difficulties faced by many Dubliners at the time. Joyce portrays her current existence as drab, monotonous and even depressing, and her abusive father emphasizes the idea that if young Ireland is to become a new nation, the older generation must be driven out. Even the good sides of old Ireland, like Eveline's mother and older brother Ernest, are dead and gone. But there's also Eveline's (not unfounded) fear that history will end up repeating itself and she'll become her mother, trapped in marriage to an abusive alcoholic and trapped in a life of poverty and failed dreams:

As he thought, the pathetic vision of his mother's life enchanted the most important thing in his being: that life of daily sacrifice that ended in final madness.

The promise of a fresh start in a new country (in a city that literally means "good air") seems like the best way to get rid of the old stale air of Ireland:

I was exploring another life with Frank. Frank was very friendly, masculine, open-hearted. She would go with him on the night ship to become his wife and live with him in Buenos Aires, where he had a home waiting for her.

And yet, when the time comes for her to board the ship, Eveline is unable to, and instead clings to the barrier as if literally clinging to old Ireland and the past that is dead and gone, but he cannot. leave. behind:

(Video) Analysis and Summary of "Eveline" by James Joyce | Free Analytical Essay Sample

He ran behind the barrier and yelled at her to follow him. They yelled at him to go ahead, but he called out anyway. She turned her white face to him, passive as a helpless animal. Her eyes gave him no sign of love, farewell or approval.

The way the final triplet progresses from love to goodbye to appreciation (which even nowto recognizehe?) is a masterpiece by Joyce.

She can't let go of the past, as the first sections of the story show:

The man from the last house passed on his way home; he heard his footsteps echo off the cement sidewalk and then creak on the cinder-block sidewalk in front of the new red houses. There used to be a field there where they played with strange children every night. Then a man from Belfast bought the field and built houses on it, not like your little brown houses, but pale brick houses with shiny roofs. The Avenue children used to play together in this field: the Devines, the Waters, the Dunns, little Keogh, the cripple, she and her brothers and sisters. However, Ernest never played, he was too old. Her father used to chase her out of the field with his blackthorn stick; but usually little Keogh said nothing and screamed when she saw her father coming. Still, they seemed pretty happy back then. Your dad wasn't so bad then; besides, his mother was alive. That was a long time ago; She and her brothers grew up, their mother died, Tizzie Dunn also died, and the Waterses returned to England. Everything changes. Now he would leave like the others, he would leave the house.

"That was a long time ago" and everything has changed and yet Eveline sits there and reminisces about this happy moment from her childhood.

And that brings us to one of the most difficult aspects of the Joyce story to analyze and define. Is it this longing for the old Ireland, embedded in her childhood memories, that prevents her from emigrating with Frank? Perhaps. Joyce's coup doesn't exactly tell useralet Eveline stay in Dublin at the end of the story. Is it the girl's duty to her father and brother that makes her regret it? Or is it a nostalgic attachment to Ireland and the happy memories it brings back, although most people who shared those memories with her have emigrated (the back anEngland, revealing) or did they die?

This is consistent with much modern fiction that avoids giving us clear direction.Whatwe must react to the events described in the story. Life is often full of misunderstood truths and hidden motivations, and sometimes our motivations are partially hidden from ourselves as we find ourselves in a state of ambivalence and insecurity.

(Video) Eveline - analysis part 1

One of Joyce's keywordsDublinis the “paralysis”: people feel immobilized, unable to move or move forward, trapped in their own lives. Thus, Joyce believed, Dublin, and indeed much of Ireland as a whole, was at a standstill. "Eveline" offers, in a small snapshot, an example of how deep this paralysis can go and even lead a young woman to give up the chance of a fresh start to remain in an abusive life at a dead end.

Eveline's irony, however, is that the same paralysis she fears —this life of daily sacrifice that characterizes her mother— also prevents her from escaping from this world due to fear or lack of certainty that the right thing would be to renounce the old world to do something. Her crippling world even paralyzes her as she tries to escape it, condemning her to stay in Dublin and likely repeat the same mistakes her mother made.


One of Joyce's goals in writing.Dublinintended to highlight the "paralysis" of Ireland, and we see this throughout the stories that make up the collection, from the mysterious illness of which Father Flynn died in the first story, to the emotional and social paralysis that seems to plague Gabriel Conroy in the last story. The people of Dublin are repressed, unable to act, trapped and unable to break free from the city. In these fifteen snapshots of Dublin, Joyce reveals some of the reasons for this permanent paralysis.

About James Joyce

James Joyce (1882-1941) is one of the most important modernist writers of the early 20th century. His reputation rests largely on just four works: a collection of short storiesDublin(1914) and three novels:A portrait of the artist as a young man.(1916),Ulysses(1922) eFinnegan's Stele(1939). Each of these works represents an evolution of the previous one, with Joyce's writing becoming increasingly experimental, dark and challenging.

Like his compatriot, the Irish poet W.B. Yeats, Joyce writes about the land he knew so well: Ireland, his homeland. But unlike Yeats, Joyce had no time for the romantic vision of Ireland encapsulated in Celtic twilight. Joyce said he wrote the stories that make upDublinto give Ireland a good look at itself in the mirror: his vision of Ireland is an unabashedly realistic depiction of a country that, particularly in these early works, seems paralyzed by paralysis (a code word forDublin), in part due to the country's obsession with its own past and with Catholicism.

(Video) Eveline by James Joyce - Short Story Summary, Analysis, Review from Dubliners

It is significant that Joyce spent much of his adult life away from his native Ireland on the Continent, where he was able to absorb the French literary influences that were so important to his development as a novelist.

If you found this review of "Eveline" by Joyce interesting, take a look at ourCommentary on Joyce's "A Date",ourReflections on Joyce's "A Dolorous Case", ourReview of the short story "Clay" by Joyce, it is oursSummary of his classic short story "The Sisters". You might like ours tooReflections on Kate Chopin's Modernist Short Story The One Hour Story.

we offer someHere are some tips for writing a brilliant essay on English literature..

The author of this article, Dr. Oliver Tearle is a literary critic and professor of English at Loughborough University. Among other things, he is the author ofThe Secret Library: A Book Lover's Journey Through Historical TriviaA Summary and Analysis of James Joyce's Eveline (2)yThe Great War, the Desert and the Long Modernist Poem.

Image: Hardwicke Street, Dublin in c. 1912, aboutWikimedia Commons.



What is a brief summary of Eveline? ›

'Eveline' focuses on a young Irish woman of nineteen years of age, who plans to leave her abusive father and poverty-stricken existence in Ireland, and seek out a new, better life for herself and her lover Frank in Buenos Aires.

What is Eveline character analysis? ›

Eveline is deeply religious and continually prays to God, asking for guidance with her difficult decision. She feels perpetually powerless over her situation, and looks to either God or Frank to save her.

What is the conclusion of the short story Eveline? ›

Concluding Eveline's life-changing opportunity, her subconscious was not ready to leave her family, her home and the promises she has made. Joyce portrays Eveline as a “passive, helpless animal” (Joyce, 29) as his final image of her. This shows Eveline as immobilized going through paralysis.

What kind of story is Eveline by James Joyce? ›

Eveline (short story)
Genre(s)short story
Published inIrish Homestead
Publication typeJournal
6 more rows

What is the main point of Eveline? ›

“Eveline” addresses the subject of death both literally, as when Eveline lists off the people in her life who have died, and figuratively, in several other life events that become metaphors for death. She seems to be very aware of death, and the fact that she has been left behind, either by people dying or leaving.

What is the moral lesson of the story Eveline? ›

In the story of Eveline, the author states some moral lessons such as memory, responsibilities, decisions, conflict, escape, guilt, paralysis, and letting go or (inability to let go).

What is the theme of the story meaning? ›

The term theme can be defined as the underlying meaning of a story. It is the message the writer is trying to convey through the story. Often the theme of a story is a broad message about life. The theme of a story is important because a story's theme is part of the reason why the author wrote the story.

What does Eveline do at the end of the story? ›

At the end of the short story "Eveline", Eveline goes to the docks to meet Frank, the sailor she has fallen in love with, and who has offered to take her away to Buenos Aires with... See full answer below.

What is the central conflict in Eveline? ›

The central conflict is that of her inner desires are in conflict with external. The external forces that influence Eveline are related to religion, especially to the traditions of Catholicism. However, those forces not only affect her but also the rest of her family members.

Why is Eveline paralyzed at the end? ›

Eveline's inability to make a decision, a sort of mental paralysis, results in actual physical paralysis at the end of the story as she stands outside watching Frank board the ship but cannot bring herself to join him. Through her inability to make a decision, she inadvertently decides to stay behind in Dublin.

What does Frank symbolize in Eveline? ›

At first, Frank represents escape and the fieedom of the open seas more than anything else in the story. Eveline feels that only he can free her from the rolling tide of 31 Page 10 32 her life and pull her safely onto his ship and into his world: "He would give her life, perhaps love, too" (33).

What is the irony in Eveline? ›

Eveline's story is an irony, this is because at the beginning of the story Eveline seems to be having a flashback of the people who have already gone to the East, and inwardly she develops a desire to go too.

What does the dust symbolize in Eveline? ›

Dust Symbol Analysis. Dust represents monotony. The dust in the house keeps collecting no matter how frequently Eveline cleans it, paralleling the monotony of Eveline's life in Dublin: she is constantly taking care of people or cleaning, only to wake up and do the same thing the next day.

Why was Eveline unhappy with her life? ›

Eveline has always felt lonely ever since her mother's death but especially now when there is nothing more she can do with her life but find someone to take her away and love her. Eveline's desire for a better life seems like it may come true when she meets Frank who she thinks will take her away to Buenos Aires.

What is the theme of Joyce's Eveline? ›

In Eveline by James Joyce we have the theme of memory, responsibility, decisions, conflict, escape, guilt, paralysis and letting go (or rather the inability to let go).

What is the plot of the story? ›

The plot of a story is the sequence of events that shape a broader narrative, with every event causing or affecting each other. In other words, plot is a series of causes-and-effects which shape the story as a whole. Plot definition: A series of causes-and-effects which shape the story as a whole.

What was the conflict in the story? ›

At its most basic, conflict is the clash of opposing forces with a character's own pursuit of a goal. The character must overcome these opposing forces to achieve the goal. These opposing forces might take on numerous shapes, and might even exist solely within the character's own psyche.

What is the central idea? ›

CENTRAL IDEA refers to what the text is mainly about. Central idea is NOT the topic of the text. Central idea can most often be stated in one sentence.

Why does Eveline Want to escape? ›

Eveline fantasizes about her escape and seems to think it will solve all of her problems: her financial disputes with her father, the lack of respect her coworkers show her, and her general discontentment with Dublin life.

What does Eveline fear about leaving? ›

She believes she has a right to happiness, too — that is, until she stands on the shore and confronts the reality of the journey on which she is about to embark. Then fear and guilt (about abandoning her father and her younger siblings) overwhelm her, and she stays rather than goes.

What makes Eveline realize she shouldnt go away? ›

Eveline's life with her father is "a hard life" (513); but "conditioned by her mother's sense of duty" (Walzl 48), Eveline cannot leave her family behind. Her word becomes a bond that she cannot break.

Why can't Eveline go with Frank? ›

Eveline is not in love with Frank, she only sees him as a chance to escape from her hard life. She only hopes for a better life, but does not trust Frank. Moreover, she never mentions that she loves him, and finally she decides not to go with him.

Who is the central character in Eveline? ›

The main character in James Joyce's "Eveline" is the nineteen-year-old protagonist Eveline. Eveline is very unhappy living with her abusive father. Consequently, she is giving serious thought to moving to Argentina with her romantic counterpart Frank.

What did Eveline promise to her mother? ›

Eveline made a promise to her deceased mother that she would keep the home together for as long as she could. Reminded by this promise, Eveline eventually chose to stay instead of going away with a man to Buenos Ayres.

What happens to Eveline at the end of the story? ›

At the end of the short story "Eveline", Eveline goes to the docks to meet Frank, the sailor she has fallen in love with, and who has offered to take her away to Buenos Aires with... See full answer below.

Why does Eveline change her mind? ›

The sound of a street organ then reminds her of her mother's death, and her thoughts change course. She remembers her mother's uneventful, sad life, and passionately embraces her decision to escape the same fate by leaving with Frank. At the docks in Dublin, Eveline waits in a crowd to board the ship with Frank.

Why did Eveline not leave Frank? ›

Eveline felt tangled knowing that it was all up to her to keep the family together, and to support her father, so she decides to stay. "She always gave her entire wages-seven shillings-…" (Joyce 30). This is again another example of what Eveline does for her family.


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