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

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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...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 821 words.)

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Last Reviewed by eNotes Editorial on November 26, 2019
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