The narrative structure of James Joyce's "Eveline" involves the life of the titular character recounted in a series of flashbacks. As she sits by the window contemplating her future, Eveline recalls meeting her lover, Frank, and her abusive father's following disapproval, as well as the difficulty of her life spent juggling jobs to support herself and her father and her desire to be free in Buenos Ares with Frank.
However, as she looks at the letters of explanation she has written for her father and her brother, she hears an organ grinder that reminds her of her mother. She begins to reflect on the happier days of her life with her family and the promise she made to her mother to look after the house when she was gone.
The narrative structure then shifts to a linear one, with Eveline and Frank waiting in line for the ship to take them away from Dublin forever. For all her desire to be free, however, Eveline cannot bring herself to walk onto the ship, and she is left behind.