Week 3 “Eveline” (II)

James Joyce
James Joyce
James Joyce (2 February 1882 – 13 January
1941) was an Irish novelist and poet,
considered to be one of the most influential
writers in the modernist avant-garde of the early
20th century. Joyce is best known for Ulysses
(1922), a landmark work in which stream of
consciousness technique is used. Other major
works are the short-story collection Dubliners
(1914), and the novels A Portrait of the Artist as
a Young Man (1916) and Finnegans Wake
Joyce was born to a middle class family in Dublin,
where he excelled as a student at the Jesuit schools,
then at University College Dublin. In his early twenties
he emigrated permanently to continental Europe,
living in Paris and Zurich. Though most of his adult life
was spent abroad, Joyce's fictional universe does not
extend beyond Dublin, and is populated largely by
characters who closely resemble family members,
enemies and friends from his time there; Ulysses in
particular is set with precision in the streets and
alleyways of the city. Shortly after the publication of
Ulysses he elucidated this preoccupation somewhat,
saying, “For myself, I always write about Dublin,
because if I can get to the heart of Dublin I can get to
the heart of all the cities of the world. ”
Stream of consciousness
In literary criticism, stream of consciousness is a
narrative mode that seeks to portray an individual's
point of view by tracing a continuously
uninterrupted flow of thought and feelings.
It’s an important device of modernist fiction, the
technique was pioneered by Dorothy Richardson in
Pilgrimage (1915–35) and by James Joyce in
Ulysses (1922), and further developed by Virginia
Woolf in Mrs Dalloway (1925) and William
Faulkner in The Sound and the Fury (1928).
Realism – modernism – postmodernism
James Joyce’s book of short stories Dubliners is one of his most
famous works. Himself an Irish man, Joyce penned stories that
centered around characters in Dublin who were dealing with the
issues of the time period.
“My intention was to write a chapter of the moral history of my
country and I chose Dublin for the scene because that city
seemed to me the centre of paralysis,” Joyce writes in Selected
Letters. “I tried to present it to the indifferent public under four of
its aspects: childhood, adolescence, maturity and public life.”
The common themes in most stories in this collection is the
exaltation of the concept of freedom. Thus, leaving home on a
journey to some faraway place is associated with a new life.
Joyce’s short story Eveline was the advent
between adolescence and maturity. Written in
1914, which preceded the women’s suffrage
in Ireland by four years, the story’s
protagonist, Eveline, is largely affected by the
issues of the time period. The
reconsiderations on woman’s role are
illustrated through Eveline’s relationships with
her family and boyfriend, as well the societal
expectations, and her duties and obligations.
Eveline’s story is much like many young
women in early twentieth century in Dublin.
What is this story about?
The story is about a young woman who faces
the difficult choice of taking a risk or
remaining in safety. Eveline must choose
between following her heart and impulsively
following a man she barely knows or
remaining with her family in a relatively
uneventful, predictable and tiresome life.
Harmonium n. 脚踏式风琴;小风琴
Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque
Edge / a quality which gives superiority over
close rivals
Have an edge on / (略为)胜过;(略)占优势
His cars have an edge over his rivals.
Give the edge to
Small-scale investors are divided, with some
arguing that the law will give the edge to big
Down adv. away from a more central or a more
northernly place
"was sent down to work at the regional office";
" worked down on the farm";
" flew down to Florida“
Foe ( 福) J.M.Coetzee
[Original] ‘Or if we had mops in London, as they have in
the west country,’ said Foe, ‘Friday could stand in the
line with his hoe on his shoulder and be hired for a
gardener...’ (129)
[Translation] 福先生说:‘如果我们在伦敦有那种西方国
mop means “an autumn fair or gathering at which
farmhands and servants were hired”. “West country”
means the west countryside of London.
Besides, the invariable squabble for money
on Saturday nights had begun to weary her
In addition, the family always had a quarrel
about money on Saturday nights, which had
made her extremely / indescribably tired.
Provision/ n. (pl.) a store or supply of something
(especially of food or clothing or arms)
run out of provisions 粮食(供给)缺乏
lodge vi. To live in somebody’s house temporarily, free or
as a paying guest
 e.g. Kim lodged with a local family the summer she
studied in Paris.
Peaked cap
 Cumulative
sentences: An exaggerated loose
structure that begins with an independent
clause and then adds details in phrases and
other clause.
The ocean beat against the shore in long swells,
roaring above the sound of the wind, threatening
the tiny houses, slamming against the great rocks
on the beach.
 The woman was dressed like
a gypsy, …
in a white
off-the-shoulder top,
loose bright skirt, a red silk
scarf on her head,
, and a tight belt circling her waist.
… when he … pleasantly confused
(She felt “pleasantly confused because on
the one hand she thought he probably
sang for her, who was in love with him, a
sailor. On the other hand she couldn’t
explain why the man had to sing about a
different couple to indicate their love.
Beside the song is only about the lass who
loves a sailor. Does the sailor love the
girl? )
fall on one’s feet: to get into a good situation because
one is lucky, especially after being in a difficult situation
 e. g. Don’t worry about Nina, she always falls on her
The white … grew indistinct.
P: The white part of two letters on her legs
became unclear as it was getting dark.
(The textual clue suggests she had written
letters to Harry and her father because
she was going to leave them without
notifying them. But the word “indistinct”
may suggest her indecisiveness in leaving.)
lay sb. up: to put somebody out of action through
illness or injury
 e.g. He was laid up with his familiar fever.
inhale vt. to breathe in (air, smoke, gas, etc.)
anti: exhale
strut: to walk with a stiff, erect, and apparently arrogant
or conceited gait
 e.g. Peacocks strut through the grounds.
--Damned Italians … over here!
(On the night Eveline’s mother died, her father
became very upset with the melancholy music. It
shows that her father suffered a lot at that time.)
lay a spell (~on, over): to do a piece of magic
to change someone
spell: a form of words used as a magical charm
or incantation
under someone’s spell: so devoted to
e.g. Many men have fell under the spell of her
As she … final craziness.
P: Deep in thought, she felt intensely the
magic influence of her mother’s wretched life
on her soul. All her life her mother had been
making routine sacrifices for the family but
ended up going mad.
Why does Eveline thought of her mother’s
last words “Derevaun Seraun! Derevaun
Eveline could choose to pursue a new life of
happiness promised by Frank. Yet she is
afraid of the “spell” that seems to have
doomed her escape. She is afraid that her
pursuit of pleasure would eventually end in
pain due to her failure to fulfill her duties for
the family.
She stood … of terror.
P: She suddenly felt fearful (at the thought of
her mother and her words) and stood up.
illumine vt. to light up, illuminate
e.g. Sparks from candles illumine the children’s
What’s Eveline’s motivation to leave home? Is it
her love for Frank? Is she confident about Frank’s
Eveline’s motivation is not love for Frank;
Eveline’s main concern is her own freedom. At
this point, Frank’s name becomes somewhat
significant; etymologically, the name Francis
means “free man,” and Eveline’s interest in Frank
revolves around his ability to provide an escape
from her tiresome routine life. Eveline liked the
feeling of being admired but she is not very sure
about her love toward Frank. She, on the other
hand, obviously love the kind of freedom he
porthole n. a small window on the ourside of a ship or
maze n. any confusing tangle or muddle, e. g., of
regulations or procedures, that is difficult to negotiate
 e.g. a maze of thoughts
a long mournful whistle
(It was she who felt the whistle “mournful”, in a sharp
contrast to a promising passage to her new and happier
life. )
nausea n. a feeling of sickness with an inclination to
vomit (In the text, it means a sick feeling in her.)
clang vi. make a loud resonant metallic sound or series
of sounds
n. e.g. The steel door slammed shut with a clang.
He was … drown her.
(Now the seas are symbolic of all the anxiety in her
heart, and it seemed the man wanted to lead her into
them. )
What kind of artful use of language
grabs your heart in this section ?
By directly depicting Eveline’s feelings with
short sentences in very quick rhythms, this
section imposes a great pressure on the
readers, passing on the suffocating feelings
of Eveline and her state of being at a loss.
--Eveline, Evvy!
Eveline, or Eve-line, is a descendant of Eve,
the first biblical woman in the world
Not coincidentally, Eveline sounds like “evil-in”.
In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were
banished by God because they had been
tempted to eat the fruit from the Tree of
Knowledge. Thus the “original sin” was
committed. Just like Eve, Eveline was destined
to bear some evil in her, and like Eve, she
simply couldn’t control her own fate.
Eveline is close in pronunciation to “evening”,
which corresponds with the time setting in the
beginning of the story. As a time near the end
of the day, evening indicates the declining old
world and a farewell to the past. It is not a
hopeful moment, which reflects the sad
dilemma Eveline is faced with. The lack of
energy in the evening also reflects the
melancholy passiveness of the protagonist.
Her eyes … or recognition. What does the
ending imply?
There was no love in her eyes. She was not
going to say goodbye to him, nor did she
seem to know him. In the end, she was just
like a stranger to him. This ending indicates
that they belonged to different worlds. He
was sailing towards a bright and happy new
world, where she did not belong. Instead, she
was left in the hopeless old world, stuck in
tradition and controlled by religion, incapable
of controlling her own fate.
In your view, what force pulls Eveline back from
the station?
1.Eveline’s love as well as duties for her family
might seem to be the most apparent reason that
pulls her back.
2.Her uncertainty about her life with Frank might
also count.
3. The passiveness in her very character finally
prevents her from leaving home. Instead of making
her own decision, she wants God to take control
4. And the past life of Eveline, one deeply drowned
in bitterness and pains, has already paralyzed her
and disabled her from risking the unknown.
What are the prime devices Joyce employs
to represent the character’s stream of
The author places Eveline at the window sitting
and thinking for the most part of the story,
tracing a continuously uninterrupted flow of
thoughts and feelings through her mind, which
presents her sense perceptions mingled with
her conscious and half-conscious thoughts
and memories, experiences, feelings and
random associations.

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