James Joyce's, “Eveline,” focuses on a character of the same name amidst an emotional turmoil. This story could be deemed a love tale which involves Eveline who struggles to remove herself from the strong ties to her family and follow her love, Frank, to Buenos Aires. Joyce uses literary elements such as setting, symbols, and themes that help convey Eveline's emotional struggle.
This story begins in a town in Ireland with the introduction of family characters. Family seems to be a strong theme in Joyce's writing. This theme is evident when Eveline stays home and takes over the motherly duties in the household as a teen after a promise was made to her dying mother. Death plays a major role in this story as the author points out that many of Eveline's friends and family are said to have died at some point. Symbolism such as dust collecting around the house and the aged yellow painting of Mary Margaret Alocoque, a French nun, enable the reader to get a sense of the death and loneliness surrounding Eveline.
There are several issues presented by Joyce that give rise to Eveline's internal conflict of breaking the promise to her mother and leaving with Frank. One major problem is that the family is very poor and money is a very precious resource in their lives. Eveline expresses the importance of money when she is walking to the market with her purse clasped close to her body almost as if to protect it as though it were her very own life.
Her family's poverty is apparent when Frank takes her to the theater and she expresses her delight with the seats Frank has purchased because she has been accustomed to sitting in the back row due to her inability to ...