Eveline Questions and Answers
by James Joyce

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How does the theme of family play out in "Eveline"?

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In James Joyce's "Eveline," from his short story collection, Dubliners, Eveline is faced with a decision.  Since her mother died she plays the role of mother to both her younger brother and her father.  Her father is abusive, particularly toward the brother, but also toward Eveline.  She is stuck and paralyzed, figuratively speaking.

She has an opportunity to escape Ireland and her terrible life, by going away with a man to live in Argentina and start a new life.  The man even has a house where the two are planning to live. 

Eveline goes through the motions of leaving and is within seconds of doing so, but at the last minute freezes and refuses to go. 

There is much more present in the story than the idea of family, but as far as that theme is concerned, what I've written is a summary of how the theme of family is played out in "Eveline."

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