Eveline Questions and Answers
by James Joyce

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What is the significance of the title Eveline by James Joyce?

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David Morrison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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It's possible to read too much into the title of the story. Joyce is much more concerned with what Eveline as a character represents rather than the significance of her name. That said, it is unlikely in the extreme that a man who savored the origins of names and words as much as Joyce will have been unaware that Eveline ultimately comes from the Hebrew word meaning life.

Without wishing to stretch the point too far, one could argue that Eveline's name is significant as the title of the story as it concerns a decision that will change the protagonist's life forever. As we've already seen, Eveline comes from the Hebrew word for life and so it's somewhat appropriate that a story that revolves around a major turning point in one woman's life should bear that name.

In the story's climactic scene, as she stands rooted to the spot at the quayside while her lover Frank takes off for a new life in Buenos Aires, Eveline has made a fateful decision in terms of her life's future direction. In opting...

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lilmrdisturbed | Student

The name Eveline is derived from the Gaelic equivalent of Helen, and several comparisons have been made between Eveline and Helen of Troy. Like Helen, Eveline considers the option of running away to elope with a man on impulse. To Eveline, Buenos Aires is her Troy. However, unlike Helen, Eveline's motivation is not love for Frank; Eveline's main concern is her own freedom.