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FBernardini - Eveline
[author: Francesco Bernardini - postdate: 2008-01-09]



"Eveline" is one of the short stories included in James Joyce's work "Dubliners". Dublin is to Joyce the "centre of paralysis", and this mood is underlined in such work, especially in Eveline's inability to take a decision. Eveline is an Irish girl who lives with a drunk and violent father and some brothers and sisters, because her mother has died.

She works in a city shop, but she is not considered very intelligent. She is in love with a young sailor, called Frank, that is going to leave for Argentina with his ship. Eveline would like to follow him, but her family situation and the promise made to her mother when she was dying keeps her from going. Such conflict torments her.

Dubliners is about people that are too shy and conformist to take some important decisions. Eveline is a perfect example. According to Modernism, events are influenced by an insignificant fact (in this case the sound of an organ in the street) that have however the power to drive people's conscience.

Eveline is the only real character in the story: the other ones are just appearances, although they drive her mind because they are parts of Eveline mental apparatus. But the reader could have some doubts about her being a character, when she is described passive as an "helpless animal".  Also in analysing the point of view the reader can notice that Eveline has not got her own one: she is unable to formulate it because of her underdevelopped thought. What's more, she cannot conceive of living away from home.