Reading the title the intelligent reader may understand that the story tells about a young girl, called Eveline. This short story belongs to a collection of shorts stories, by James Joyce, the name of which is “Dubliners”. Dublin is considered the centre of paralysis, and so, people can understand that the protagonist of this story represent this feature.
The narrator tells us a story regarding to a girl, who lives in Dublin. This girl wants to leave the city with her boyfriend but she can’t because she feels still connected to the promise she made to her mother before her mother’s death. The promise is to look after her family. In the short story are told her thoughts, her feelings and her memories. In the end she doesn’t leave because she feels like paralysed, she cannot move. It describes the Dubliner’s way to behave: they are unable to act.
The short story is arranged into three parts. Each part has a function: The first part introduced the situation (Eveline, the protagonist, is sitting at the window at home, feeling tired). The second part tells the reader Eveline’s thoughts about her past, her present and her future. The third part is the conclusion and shows Eveline and Frank at the station. Eveline doesn’t move. It is a dramatical conclusion.
A narrator can choose how to make the reader feel using some different kinds of narration: When he uses direct speech and free direct speech the reader feels as if he were present in the scene; When he uses free indirect speech or thought the reader feels as if he were into the character’s mind; When he uses indirect speech he makes the reader feel not closer to the scene.
When the narrator uses the technique of showing he reports the scene and the words said by the characters without saying his comment. When the narrator uses the technique of telling the scene reported is filtered thought his eyes.
Eveline is the protagonist of the short story. She represents perfectly the people of Dublin, because she behaves herself as if she were paralysed, unable to act. She hides her inability to act with the connection made to her family, in particular to her father, by the promise she gave to her mother.
Eveline’s father is not a saint of man. Reading Eveline’s memories the reader can understand that he is always drunk, and that he mistreat his family. Frank is Eveline’s boyfriend. He is a sailor. He represent the opposite of Eveline, in fact a sailor is a man without a real steady point, who can leave one place to an other without many problems and worries.