Eveline by James Joyce: A Picture of Paralysis

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Through careful and ingenious choice of points of view, diction, imagery and other miscellaneous stylistic devices, James Joyce, in one of his most famous short stories “Eveline”, successfully portrayed a picture of paralysis, which is appropriately in keeping with the theme of the story: The people of Ireland refuse to make any effort toward positive change for themselves. “Eveline”, one of 14 short stories, may be used to serve as a case study of the whole book to gain a glimpse into the lives of the inhabitants of the city Dublin called as “Dubliners” by Joyce. It is a story of adolescence, and it is basically about her choice of the familiarity of a life in which she is mistreated by her abusive father and replacement of her dead mother in raising her younger siblings over the fear of change represented by starting a new life in a new country with the man who loves her. She is a 19-year-old immature emotionally undeveloped girl, and unable to decide between the gloomy present and unknown future.
The central theme of the story is paralysis. Characters are trapped in lives they abhor by events and forces they could control as well as those beyond their control. In these stories, adolescents and young adults become aware that they are or will be trapped, creating in them moral or spiritual paralysis that prevents them from escaping or avoiding the trap.
Point of View: Sympathetic and Objective
Joyce’s role, as a recorder of the city, develops the style in which Dubliners is written. Evidence of this style lies in Joyce’s tongue-in-cheek objectivity, subtle comment, careful crafting of tone and images, and demonstration of conflict in characters’ intentions and actions. Joyce uses the colored narrative to tell the story from the third person limited point of view, a narrative that is influenced by the character’s point view and his perspective. Such a way of telling a story enables readers to probe into the very heart of the protagonist to understand, to

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