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Maran - Eveline by J. Joyce
[author: Marco Maran - postdate: 2007-12-16]

Text: Eveline
Task: analyzeing the short story 


Eveline is a short story from Dubliners, a collection by J. Joyce.

First of all, the intelligent reader must know how Mr. Joyce writes and also the most important themes developped in his texts.


Joyce wants to get inside people's mind and doing that he can convey what characters think iduring the time of narration. To recreate the situation he adopts different points of view and different stylistic choices and techniques. As a matter of fact he uses the interior monologue, soliloquy and last but not least stream of conciousness, the most important techique of Joyce's Ulysses.


Now I will provide a short summary of the story also because generally speaking it is not very important in his works.

Evelyne is a girl longing to escape from reality because she lives in a drab condition, but when an opportunity to escape comes she is frightning by it, and her indecision keeps her going on  with  the same life. Evelyne could escape with her lover, a sailor named Frank, but the inefficiency of her nature will be her wrack.

The first paragraph talks about a person, a female, "SHE" that is not called with a proper name. the i nformation provided by the text is used to set Eveline in a space and time dimension.


In the second paragraph changes in her life are presented: in the first part of her life she was happy, but when her mother died "Everything changes".

Only in the fifth paragraph the character is identified as  Eveline.  A reader interested in going into depth to understand the text might wonder why this happens. The excuse could be to understood by the reader as a deeper characterization of the protagonist.

A reflection is developped along the whole novel, Eveline considered her life and her opportunity to change it, but in her heart she knows that is too difficult escape from her reality and be free.


To analyze the  novel, a careful reader might distinguish in Eveline three types of settings:

1. an external setting that is very frightning and unacceptable

2. an internal setting that concerned Eveline's dingy and poverty-ridden home

3. a mental setting that concerned Eveline's few object of remembrance.

Being the three settings part of the protagonist's reality it is very important to analyze her characterization.

To be precise a reader might get in touch with her mind, because it is the aspect that Joyce underlines best.

Eveline is the only character in the story, even if she is "passive, like an helpless animal", this demonstrates that she isn't an autonomous woman, but she is strictly imprisoned by her life situation, so she isn't able to go beyond reality.


Another aspect that focuses the reader's attention is the interior monologue. With such technique  Joyce gives to the reader the perception of what's going on. As a matter of fact the technique centers the reader's interest in the way a character perceives the situations around him/her.


Moreover an intelligent reader might distinguish when the narrator speaks and when the Eveline's mind is unveiled. For example in the first part of the novel the narrator is speaking, because, if we consider the verbs, we could notice that the discourse is in reported speech (would not be like that, would not be treated, ecc.).


Writing this novel, Joyce wants to underlines Dubliners' paralisys that corrupted the society and prevented  people to act and reflect.


Words reference

Drab: not bright in colour, especially in a way that stops you from feeling cheerful;

To forge: move somewhere or continue doing something in a steady determinated way;

Dingy: dark, dirty and in a bad condition;

Remembrance: a memory that you have of a person or event;

Deprivation: the lack of something that you need in order to be healthy, confortable or happy.