Eveline's life is certainly one of repression at home and insignificance at work.
The opening scene conveys the melancholy of Eveline as she sits watching the evening "invade the avenue." She leans her head against curtains that smell of cretonne, and glances at the brown houses on the street. As she sits, looking at nothing but what was in the past, Eveline recalls the field once that has been replaced with red brick houses; it was a large field in which she and the others would play until her father came out with a blackthorn stick herding his children home under duress.
Eveline considers what it will be like to leave this house and neighborhood behind. Certainly, it will be no loss to depart from a job where she is treated with disrespect; in her new home, Eveline hopes that she will be treated with respect, not as her mother was, and as she fears she may soon be if she remains
Even now, though she was over nineteen, she sometimes felt herself in danger of her father's violence. She knew it was that that had given her the palpitations.
It is, thus, apparent that Eveline's father is abusive and she lives in fear of him, especially on Saturday nights when he comes home drunk. But, she also suffers anxiety over what will become of her younger brother, whom the father will probably physically abuse if she leaves home.