In the short story, this Thomas Moore melody is played on the harp by a street musician who attempts to coax money out of passersby, appealing to their Irish sentiments. The musician's harp, with its semi-nude female figure carved on the front, is clearly the symbol of a degraded Ireland. As the musician idly plucks the melody of the song, which expresses the wish that Erin, still sleeping in darkness, be warmed with the day star of peace and love, the image is one of Ireland betrayed and prostituted.
Her thoughts turn to her sometimes abusive father with whom she lives, and to the prospect of freeing herself from her hard life juggling jobs as a shop worker and a nanny to support herself and her father.
Eveline faces a difficult dilemma: He wants her to marry him and live with him in Buenos Aires, and she has already agreed to leave with him in secret. After that, the two lovers met clandestinely. As Eveline reviews her decision to embark on a new life, she holds in her lap two letters, one to her father and one to her brother Harry.
She begins to favor the sunnier memories of her old family life, when her mother was alive and her brother was living at home, and notes that she did promise her mother to dedicate herself to maintaining the home.
She reasons that her life at home, cleaning and cooking, is hard but Eveline and araby not the worst option—her father is not always mean, after all. At the docks in Dublin, Eveline waits in a crowd to board the ship with Frank.
She appears detached and worried, overwhelmed by the images around her, and prays to God for direction. Her previous declaration of intent seems to have never happened. When the boat whistle blows and Frank pulls on her hand to lead her with him, Eveline resists.
She clutches the barrier as Frank is swept into the throng moving toward the ship. Hers is the first portrait of a female in Dubliners, and it reflects the conflicting pull many women in early twentieth-century Dublin felt between a domestic life rooted in the past and the possibility of a new married life abroad.
One moment, Eveline feels happy to leave her hard life, yet at the next moment she worries about fulfilling promises to her dead mother.
She clings to the older and more pleasant memories and imagines what other people want her to do or will do for her. She sees Frank as a rescuer, saving her from her domestic situation.
Eveline suspends herself between the call of home and the past and the call of new experiences and the future, unable to make a decision. On the docks with Frank, away from the familiarity of home, Eveline seeks guidance in the routine habit of prayer.
She will keep her lips moving in the safe practice of repetitive prayer rather than join her love on a new and different path.
Though Eveline fears that Frank will drown her in their new life, her reliance on everyday rituals is what causes Eveline to freeze and not follow Frank onto the ship. The story does not suggest that Eveline placidly returns home and continues her life, but shows her transformation into an automaton that lacks expression.
Eveline, the story suggests, will hover in mindless repetition, on her own, in Dublin. On the docks with Frank, the possibility of living a fully realized life left her.The James Joyce Collection (2 classic novels, 1 short story collection, 1 collection of poetry, and one play, all with active Table of Contents) - Kindle edition by James Joyce.
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A summary of “Eveline” in James Joyce's Dubliners. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of Dubliners and what it means. Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans.
The Power of Araby by James Joyce - It has been such a joy reading “The Norton Introduction to Literature” by Kelly J. Mays. Of all the stories that I was assigned to read, one story in particular stood out to me because of how the author used words to create a vivid image in my mind.
Free Short Stories for you to read at this online library. Free Short Stories for you to read at this online library.
"Eveline" is a short story by the Irish writer James Joyce. It was first published in by the journal Irish Homestead and later featured in his collection of short stories Dubliners.