EVELINE JAMES JOYCE: RIASSUNTO E COMMENTO
Eveline by James Joyce (taken from “Dubliners”)
This short story can be divided into two sections:
2. section 2 : her moral failure
It is evening and the action takes place in Eveline’s living-room. Dark and dust characterize the room. Eveline feels tired. The world outside the window makes her think about her childhood. She remembers the field in which she and other children once played until a man from Belfast bought it and built houses on it. Ernest, her older brother, was too old to join in their play and is now dead. Eveline and the other children of the same avenue used to play and shelter by vigilance against the inimical adult, Eveline’s father, who used to interfere with and spoil their play. She also fears her father, because he is a violent and uncontrolled man and she resents his parsimony.
EVELINE JAMES JOYCE: RIASSUNTO
She herself is only nineteen and there are two younger children still at home. In the room where Eveline stands she notices the picture of a priest, a school friend of his father. The priest has become a yellowing photograph, the promises made to Blessed Mary Margaret Alacoque are next to his picture. All these objects share their being old and dusty. Eveline considers her job as a department store clerk dull and her superior abusive. She has agreed to be Frank’s wife and to leave her home. Frank is her boyfriend and he is a sailor. She remembers Frank’s courtship, his being kind, open-hearted and lively. Eveline’s father quarrelled with her boyfriend since he distrusted sailors.
EVELINE JAMES JOYCE: RIASSUNTO IN INGLESE
Because of that fight Eveline accepted to leave home and to go to Buenos Aires with Frank. The sound of a street organ reminds her of the night that her mother died, and how her father had paid a street organ player to move off, and how he had cursed all foreigners. She sees her mother’s life as a “life of commonplace sacrifices closing in final craziness”. Her mother’s last words meaningless but seemingly Gaelic, were: ”Derevaun Seraun! Derevaun Seraun!” (=the end of pleasure is pain). Eveline is caught between a future far from her family with Frank (escape) and the
passivity of her home city (paralysis).