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Notes on Eveline. The story starts with Eveline ’ s looking out of the window and remembering her past; her memories are marked by the shift in time ( “ One time ” , l.5 - “ Now ” , l.18). the past was better than the present her life is now unbearable

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The story starts with Eveline’s looking out of the window and remembering her past; her memories are marked by the shift in time (“One time”, l.5 -“Now”, l.18).
  • the past was better than the present
  • her life is now unbearable
  • she has accepted to go away from her house and country
  • she is weighing the pros and cons of going and staying

The passage is told from Eveline’s point of view by a third-person narrator who tends to disappear through he use of indirect thought into Eveline’s interior monologue*

  • As the narrator goes into Eveline’s mind the language changes, becomes more her own (simpler, more colloquial; free indirect speech, banal clichés of the reader of sentimental literature, melodrama)

Interior monologue

William James, Principles of Psychology (1890)

Consciousness “does not appear to itself chopped up in bits… (but) flows like a river or a stream. Hence let us call it the stream of thought, of consciousness”


Stream-of-consciousness fictionisconcerned with the area whichisnormallybeyondcommunication:

  • what the mentalprocessisstarted by and whatitconsists of (memories, dreams, impressions, sensations, intuitions)
  • howitworks (symbols, association of ideas, juxtaposition of images)

interiormonologue: the literaryinstrumentused to translatethatphenomenonintowords

Dorothy Richardson was a pioneer in the technique, whichwasthenfullydeveloped by James Joyce and Virginia Woolf


two main types:

  • indirect interior monologue
  • introduced by such clauses as he thought, he decided, she understood, she realized
  • third-person narrator
  • rational links for the association of ideas
  • external ordering mind even if the perspective is internal

(some critics call this “interior monologue”)


direct interior monologue

  • in first person
  • sudden shifts from thought to thought
  • no apparent connection
  • no evident intervention of the ordering mind of a narrator
  • direct access to the mind of the character

(some critics call this “stream of consciousness”)

why is she going to leave?
  • her thoughts shift from present to past and to future

present situation (father) conditioned by the past (mother)

“Derevaun Seraun”.= the end of pleasure is pain?

EPIPHANY “Escape. She must escape”

future expectations → Frank. Who is he?

a sailor planning to move to Buenos Aires and take Eveline with him
  • he has told Eveline he intends to marry her
  • but Frank is a mysterious character; some implication that his intentions are devious:

started his sailing career on a trade route associated with exile

"going to Buenos Aires" was a slang term for prostitution

the night boat to Liverpool may have been a reference to the mythological journey over the Styx river to the pagan underworld

Frank might have no intention of marrying his lover, but instead is planning to bring her into a situation she will find immoral

Why doesn’t she go at the end?
  • sense of duty
  • promise to her mother
  • affection for her father
  • masochism?
  • fear of the unknown
  • she interprets her future in terms of her past(she’s never been loved, why should she be loved now?)
  • spiritual paralysis
great attention to sounds and to the use of verbs (tenses, stative or dynamic)
  • a mixture of realism and symbolism

dust, broken harmonium, portrait of the priest, faraway countries, the sea, the ship

Eveline’s final renunciation:

an example of Dublin’s paralysing effect on its inhabitants

a vivid, realistic, moving story written in simple, effective language, appropriate to the character