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Literary Devices in Eveline Essay


In the story Eveline by James Joyce, the main character Eveline lives a hard life of staying at home and juggling between her job and being a nanny to support herself and her father. Throughout the story, Eveline faces the struggle of leaving with her lover frank or staying home and sticking to her duty as a nanny. The connotations, plot structure and setting connections of this short story all play a part to unify the story in the end.

To start, Joyce starts off with the story with having Eveline looking at out a window. As she is looking out of the window she watches the scenario and remembers her child life and how it changed. However, I believe that the window is a connotation of something deeper then what it is. This is because after she has remembered those past memories it is as if she came back to realization that she is still stuck in her house. To me, the window is almost as if it is a barrier that is blocking Eveline from having a real life and not end up having a dull life like her mother. But Evelines paralysis is that she can only look beyond the window but not live it.

Next, the plot structure of the story plays role with connecting the story in the end. Throughout story, Eveline talks about the pros and cons of leaving with her lover Frank. But then she hears the sound of an organ-player which triggers a memory of her mothers death bed. Before evelines mother died she remembered what promise was to her Mothers and her mothers last words last words Derevaun seraun! Dereaun seraun!( pg.23) Which means pain brings suffering. After re-living this memory, she stands up immediately and thinks that she made up her mind and decides to leave with frank to Buenos Ayres.

Lastly, the setting of the story is what I believe is the deciding factor of why Eveline ends up not leaving with Frank. The setting of the story is in Dublin Ireland during the Victorian Age. What I believe was the cause of what was holding Eveline back was guilt of Victorian virtues of duty and self sacrifice. Just before she was going to go on the ship, Eveline froze. I believe she did not go on the boat with frank because she would feel guilty if she abandon her duty of watching over her father and the house. During last paragraphs of this story it switches point of views to frank who was already on the boat. In the book it states that her eyes gave him no sign of love or farewell of recognition (pg.23). I do not think this is because she did not love him anymore, but because she knew she had made the wrong decision.

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