Dubliners

James Joyce’s ‘Eveline’: Stream of Consciousness as Failed Escapism College

James Joyce paints a grim picture of the sheltered life of 19th century women in Dublin, in his story Eveline. Part of a series, called Dubliners, Eveline is the account of a young woman torn between sentimental duty and the opportunity for escape. Eveline chooses neither; her life instead reflects a cyclical and unmoving position, one which characterizes the bleakness of Joyce’s comment on life in Dublin overall. Her struggle is articulated through a unique narrative that is comprised of third-person perspective and stream of consciousness technique. The point of view in Eveline is integral to the conveyance of the protagonist’s literal and mental conflict in regards to her obligation to stay and her fantasy for freedom. By entering the mind of Eveline, the narrative explores her thoughts and desires which are responsible for carrying the plot. Although the story lacks physical action, the importance lies in Eveline’s inability to move, her psychological and spiritual paralysis. The perspective coincides with three major figures: the window, the perpetual dust, and the memory of Eveline’s deceased mother. These figures represent the transcendent turmoil that ails the individual Eveline, as well as the larger context of the...

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