In Joyce’s Dubliners, references to the Catholic Church evokes a sense of moral rectitude which confines the young woman, Eveline, to the obligations she made in her past life. Eveline feels that she must keep her word, both to her mother and to God, as she leans her head against the window and hears the sound of a church organ.
One passage reads, “Down far in the avenue she could hear a street organ playing.” The imagery here is unquestionably connected to the organs that daily commence mass at the Irish Catholic Church and evoke in Eveline’s consciousness a feeling of deep-seated, Christian responsibility to her family and her mother’s honor. The passage continues, “She knew the air. Strange that it should come that very night to remind her of the promise to her mother, her promise to keep the home together as long as she could.”
The difficulty Eveline has in honoring her mother’s wish is her intense desire to escape Dublin with her love interest, Frank, and to leave her...
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