-Eveline by James Joyce-
The story is told by a third-person narrator and it is adopted Eveline’s point of view throughout the story.Joyce employed free indirect thoughts to give voice to Eveline’s thoughts.
The character of the girl is not introduced in a traditional way since we are not given information about her physical appearance, family and school.
The reader is obliged to infer the pieces of information from the development of her thoughts.
It is an “in medias res” opening. Eveline appears tired, linked to stillness and paralysis, since she does not move and her only life is in her mind.
Eveline’s present is linked to stillness and dust.
Her past is connected with the death of her mother.
Her future has connections with love, action, the sea and escape.
Eveline is compared to a ”helpless animal”, since she is passive, paralysed, unable to make up any decision.
The access to the character’s consciousness is provided by Joyce through the technique of Epiphany, that is “the sudden revelation of a hidden reality” through “casual words or events”.
The miserable life of Eveline’s mother has influenced her decisions; at first there is her plan to escape which coexists with her antithetical wish of getting on living in her home; at the end there is the failure of her project of escaping and paralysis wins inside her soul.
Eveline is a story of paralysis: she is a simple-minded girl who can not escape the prison of her home and her father’s authority.
-Stylistic Devices and Themes-
Important stylistic devices and themes of ‘Dubliners’ present in ‘Eveline’ are: the realistic description of places, the use of a limited point of view (the point of view of Eveline), the presentation of the character from the inside, the use of a new concept of time (which is internal, subjective), the use of epiphany and the theme of paralysis linked to a failed escape, as Eveline lacks the determination to pursue her dream and is paralysed by her resignation to continue her life in her home city.