Why is Eveline's job at the store mentioned?  "Eveline" from The Dubliners by James Joyce

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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James Joyce's story "Eveline" is one that presents the conditions of many Irish women's lives.  As a further insight into the plight of Irish women, much of the narrative of is told from the internal reality of the main character, Eveline.  The passage in which Eveline reflects upon her job is an example of narrative by way of internal reality.

As Eveline debates whether to leave home with the sailor who has made a rather vague proposal, she considers that she does have shelter and food in her present state.  In addition, she imagines what Miss Gavan would say when she learns that Eveline has run off with "a fellow"and her position

would be filled up by advertisement.  Miss Gavan would be glad.  She had always had an edge on her, especially whenever there were people listening.

This reflection of Eveline indicates her lack of confidence in herself and her subervience to others, not just in the home but in the workplace, as well.  Thus, this passage serves as both an insight into the character of Eveline, as well as a foreshadowing of her paralysis at the climax of the story when the sailor calls to her to board the ship.

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