In this quote from Eveline by James Joyce, "She sat at the window watching evening invade the avenue," what literary device has the author used?

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durbanville eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Eveline one of the stories from Dubliners, relates the story of Eveline, a typical, young, Irish-Catholic girl unable to escape her past or dream of a different future. James Joyce knew this scenario well and his attempts to portray this desperate situation, thereby offering some relief was not well accepted in the Irish community. Joyce chooses his words deliberately and wants to spark understanding and, perhaps, recognition in a discerning reader who can see the power of duty and Eveline's desperate attempt to "escape."

Literary devices are used throughout literature to add emphasis and to characterize otherwise inanimate objects and emotions. Eveline is paralysed by her circumstances and nothing less than an invasion could have any hope of freeing her from this desperate situation. Evening is an innocuous (harmless) time of day, usually when stress reduces and people begin to unwind. Joyce wants the reader to realize that, without action, evening becomes oppressive. Yet another day passes and still Eveline can do nothing as she remains "passive." Evening turns into night and the cycle continues. This metaphorical use of "invade" adds a human dimension to the evening, thereby revealing that personification is the literary device used here. Soldiers, or armies, "invade;" a deliberate act with life-changing consequences. If only Eveline could reach out and grasp at the potential that faces her this evening. She has allowed it to invade her thoughts but not sufficiently to cause her to act outside of her sense of "duty."