What is evidence from the passage that shows Eveline's hopelessness?

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mdelmuro eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In James Joyce's "Eveline," there are several instances in which the title character exhibits hopelessness, no more so than the beginning of the story when she looks out her window like an abandoned pet end of the story when she is unable to board the boat with Frank. 

Throughout this story, Joyce employs free indirect discourse, which allows the third-person narrator to speak a character's thoughts.

At the beginning of the story, Eveline, like a dog sitting at a front window, "leaned against the window curtains and in her nostrils was the odour of dusty cretonne." She reminisces on the games she used to play with the children, but realizes "That was a long time ago; she and her brothers and sisters were all grown up; her mother was dead." 

Throughout the story, the only thing that gives Eveline hope is the proposition of leaving Dublin to live with Frank in "Buenos Ayres." However, when the time comes, Eveline returns to her state at least he beginning of the story, that of a helpless animal. Stopped by a desire to fulfill her mother's dying wish to fulfill her familial duty, Eveline clings to the railings that led to the boat. She "set her white face to him, passive, like a helpless animal. Her eyes gave him no sign of love or farewell or recognition."

Overall, "Eveline" highlights the feeling of hopelessness and paralysis that run through all the stories in Dubliners.