In "Eveline," what is significant about the ending and how does it differ from the rest of the story?

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Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The conclusion of "Eveline" features a change in setting as Joyce takes Eveline to a different locale. The majority of the story is told from her living room with narrative flashbacks or excursions to the field Eveline used to play in and to the Stores where she works. After her epiphany moment, the moment in which she has personal and spiritual clarity of thought and an awakening of comprehension and decisiveness (Tolstoy also employs epiphanies in his stories), and makes her decision to escape and go with Frank, the setting shifts to the crowd at the dock, where the "black mass" of the ship looms through the "wide doors of the sheds."

Up until this moment and past it until the point at which she feels the seas tumble "about her heart," the narrative has emphasized Eveline's experience using feminine pronouns: she, her, hers. Suddenly, as she focuses of Frank ("He"), the narrator also focuses on Frank and masculine pronouns (he, him, his) compete with feminine ones until the finalization of the emotionally unsatisfactory (although literarily satisfactory) resolution in which Eveline is "passive, like a helpless animal," devoid of thought, feeling, and recognition.