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Topics for Further Study

(Short Stories for Students)

The life of Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque can be found in The Lives of the Saints. How does Eveline’s predicament mirror that of Blessed Margaret Mary Alacoque? Joyce is always scrupulously accurate with his references. Why might he be linking the heroine with this famous saint?

Sailors appear in many works of Joyce, for example as uncouth and diseased outsiders in Ulysses. In “A Painful Case,” another story in Dubliner’s, Mrs. Sinico is married to a merchant seaman who is never home. Frank, the seaman in “Eveline” is presented as the only positive element in Eveline’s life. Yet, there is an underside to a sailor, making his proposal both dangerous and dubious. Research what life was like for a sailor around the turn of the century.

Emigration has been a constant occurrence during the last two hundred years of Irish history. Ever since the Potato Famine in the late 1840s, the Irish have been leaving their homeland in search of a better life elsewhere. Have they found it? Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes presents a scenario where a family actually returned to Ireland. What might Eveline’s life...

(The entire section is 374 words.)