"Eveline" is one of the stories in "Dubliners" written by James Joyce who was an Irish novelist, considered to be one of the most important and preeminent writers of his time.
"Dubliners is the book in which Joyce examines the middle class Irish society […] presents his most comprehensive picture of the condition of women in Ireland"(Walzl 31). The story
"Eveline" is about a nineteenyearold girl, named Eveline, who is trying to decide between going with her sailor boyfriend Frank to Buenos Aires, acquiring a better life and staying with her family in Dublin. Even though "Eveline" is a very short story, James Joyce not only successfully portrays her dilemma and inner conflicts but he also lets the reader feel his time 's difficulties in Dublin. He does not tell these things to reader directly but he chooses the words so appropriately and he depicts the characters so successfully that despite the first impression they make on the reader, these symbols refer to different meanings.
Firstly, Eveline is not just an ordinary character who is in a dilemma whether to stay or to go but also she is a representative of all "women under patriarchy" (Cheng 101). She is a young girl who has a lot of responsibilities, especially after her mother 's last wish from her to
"keep the home together as long as she could" (Joyce 33). She is doing all the chores on her own; besides, she also works at the Stores to earn money for the expenses of the house.
However, she gets no appreciation from her father, he even takes her money. When we look at the condition of Dublin in that period it can be seen easily that not only Eveline, but also other women experience similar hardships in their lives. Walzl expresses his ideas about the reason of this situation as following:
...economic deprivation drove millions abroad. For those who remained, poverty was widespread, jobs few and precarious, salaries meager, and
Cited: University Press, 1969. Cheng, Vincent J. Joce,Race and Empire. New York: Cambridge University Pres, 1995. Florio, Joseph. “Joyce’s ‘Eveline’”. The Explicator (Spring 1993). 16 October 2003. 11 par.