Blessed Margaret Mary Alacoque
A saint whose promises are prevalent in many a Catholic home, Blessed Margaret Mary Alacoque was born in a small village in France in 1647. Although not an actual character in the tale, a print of her promises is on the wall and forces Eveline to think of her duties to home and family. Donald Torchiana has pointed out that various moments in this saint’s life strangely parallel Eveline’s.
Frank is the archetypal Knight in Shining Armor or Savior. His appearance, when Eveline first meets him, is one of healthy and robust nonchalance; he appears out of nowhere and provides respite from Eveline’s bleak life. As is a sailor, he has wild tales about remote regions where he has visited.
Sailing is a profession linked, often rightly so, with dubious morality. Sailors are often without home and apt to seduce women with false promises and later abandon them when it is time to move on to a new ship. While Eveline is trusting of this charmer, her father is suspicious and forbids her to see him. If Eveline accepts Frank’s “proposal,” she will be at his mercy in a country that is an ocean removed from her native Ireland.
The name “Frank” implies frankness. Was Joyce slyly ambiguous or outright ironic in giving the sailor this name? Is Frank really being open with Eveline? Is he a shady character? The reader is not even privy to his last name. Despite all this, Frank...
(The entire section is 1300 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of Eveline Characters. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!