“Eveline” and the Steamboat Ladies

Documentary On Newstalk: Steamboat Ladies | Newstalk

For my research paper, I plan to analyze the short story of “Eveline” in Joyce’s Dubliners and connect it to the larger opportunities for women during this time period. The main character of the story, Eveline, is faced with two options—either leave her life behind and sail away with Frank across the Atlantic or remain at home with her familiar abusive father. What struck me most about the story was the fact that there were only two options available to Eveline—either marry and leave everything behind or stay at home with her father. There was no option that included education, work, or independent living. Of course, there are many more options available for women now, but those options only started to become available at around the time that this story was written. Dubliners was published in 1904, which happens to be the same year that the “steamboat ladies” came into existence; This was a group of women that were granted ad eundem University of Dublin degrees at Trinity College Dublin (between 1904 and 1907)—meaning that these women had already studied and graduated from the women’s colleges at universities of Oxford and Cambridge and so were recognized by Trinity College Dublin. 1904 also happened to be the year that the first woman was admitted to Trinity College Dublin as an actual student. With my research paper, I hope to contextualize the limitations of women during the time that “Eveline” was written and explore the opportunities that were slowly becoming available to women (using the steamboat ladies as a specific example to build upon).

1 Comment

  1. I really like the topic you have chosen to research. It is very interesting and I wonder how it will all fall together. Being a women in Dublin was difficult given the city’s history. I also like how you will be mentioning the University and education aspect for women at the time. Great work keep it up!

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