Emigration and “Eveline”

IMAGE: ‘Emigrants Leave Ireland’, engraving by Henry Doyle (1827–1892), from Mary Frances Cusack’s Illustrated History of Ireland, 1868.

For my final paper, I intend to respond to the first prompt. I will research Irish emigration, particularly concerning Irish women, from the late 19th century to early 20th century to inform my reading of James Joyce’s short story, “Eveline.” My current sources discuss female emigration within a literary context and Irish emigration within a political context. I intend to explore both aspects—in one of my travel diaries, I compared Eveline to Eurydice from Greek myth, and would like to explore that further through close-reading in my paper. However, Dubliners is a collection that feels rooted in realism and true-to-life struggles as well as how that ties to Ireland and Irish identity, given how the collection is deeply rooted in its urban setting. Ideally, I hope to be able to explore both of these aspects in conversation with one another and with Joyce’s “Eveline” to gain a more holistic understanding of the text.

1 Comment

  1. I really love this topic! Immigration history is always very interesting, especially that of immigration to countries other than the US like Argentina where Frank is supposed to take her, I think there’s a lot of potential there as I know I myself am not as familiar with the history of Irish immigration or community in other countries around the world. Your close-reading is exciting as well because Joyce expressed a dislike of the mythological allusions of some of his fellow writers in Dublin like Yeats, so the similarities between the hyperrealistic fiction of her life and the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice comes across as a bit of a surprise unless Joyce was just opposed to utilizing Celtic myth and not myth in general! Best of luck!

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