The Protagonist's Conflict in James Joyce's "Eveline"

Essay, 2007

12 Pages, Grade: 1,7



1. Introduction

2. The Plot of the Short Story

3. The Conflict of Eveline

4. Summary

5. Bibliography

1. Introduction

In “Dubliners”, a collection of short stories published on June 15th 1914[1], the author James Joyce presents fifteen stories of different people belonging to the Catholic Middle-Class of 19th century Dublin. One of the characters is Eveline Hill – a young girl who is planning on leaving her home country Ireland. Firstly, I will give a summary of the short story “Eveline”, and afterwards analyze the conflict the main character Eveline Hill finds herself. The circumstances that led to her final decision not to leave her home in the end will be discussed in greater detail. Finally, I will close this paper with a brief bibliography.

2. The Plot of the Short Story

The short story “Eveline” is divided up into two scenes. In the first one, the main protagonist, who also functions as eponym for this story, sits on the windowsill, watching the people pass by in the streets. She remembers the times when she and her siblings were still young and played with the children from the neighbourhood. After her mother’s and her older brother’s death, Eveline’s situation changed dramatically, as she suddenly had to live up to her family’s expectations and fill her mother’s function as role model and caregiver. Her father, who is not only menacing her, but also keeps the family’s money in check, takes the situation to the extreme, until Eveline has nearly no money left to buy aliment for her family.

Only sometimes, Eveline is supported by her older brother who sends her money but stays away from home most of the time. However, she does not intend to stay at home forever to care for her father and her siblings, but plans on running off with a young sailor called Frank. Though her father has forbidden her any contact with the man, they both arranged to go to Buenos Aires to be together and improve their life situation. Still, as Eveline sits by the window, she thinks about the hard life she has at home, the “escape”[2] from it she is aiming at, but also about the things she would leave behind and the promise to care for her family she has given her mother before her death. Occupied with these thoughts Eveline forgets to prepare for the passage to South America with her lover.


[1] Schneider, Ulrich. James Joyce: “Dubliners”. München: Wilhelm Fink Verlag, 1982, p. 14.

[2] Joyce, James. Dubliners. London: Penguin Books Ltd., 1996, p. 41.

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The Protagonist's Conflict in James Joyce's "Eveline"
University of Paderborn
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James, Joyce, Dubliners, Eveline
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Eveline Podgorski (Author), 2007, The Protagonist's Conflict in James Joyce's "Eveline", Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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