Is there any connection between Eveline's prayer to God and what she did (such as the promise she made to her mother in "Eveline")?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

James Joyce's character Eveline is an Irish Catholic for whom religion is an integral part in her life.  While Roman Catholics do not feel that there is an every moment connection to God in their actions and thoughts; that is, Divine intervention, as did the Puritans; they do, however, believe in the power of Divine inspiration.  It is for this that Eveline prays in the hopes that some outside force will give her advice on what to do because she does not have the strength of character that she needs to make a decision.

For, as she stands at the North Wall from where she is to travel south, she "answered nothing" as Frank speaks to her.  Eveline, cold and pale, in a "maze of distress,...prayed to God to direct her, to show her what was her duty." In her paralysis, Eveline cannot decide where her "duty" lies; instead, she prays that God will let her know.  Nauseated from her anxiety, Eveline continues to pray that divinity will inspire her actions.  But, she is a victim of self-deception and her servility.  Without divine inspiration, Eveline surrenders to this deception and servility and refuses to board the ship as she is incapable of changing her life. 

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