Notes on Eveline - G.VERONESE

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
• 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
• 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 fiction is concerned
with the area which is normally beyond
what the mental process is started by and what
it consists of (memories, dreams, impressions,
sensations, intuitions)
how it works (symbols, association of ideas,
juxtaposition of images)
interior monologue: the literary
instrument used to translate that
phenomenon into words
Dorothy Richardson was a pioneer in the
technique, which was then fully
developed by James Joyce and Virginia
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
• why is she going to leave?
• her thoughts shift from present to past and to
present situation (father) conditioned by the past
“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
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
• a mixture of realism and symbolism
dust, broken harmonium, portrait of the
priest, faraway countries, the sea, the
• 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