“Eveline” by James Joyce
“I care not if I live but a day and a night, so long as my deeds live after me.” – James Joyce
Learning Target: Can you identify some unique aspects of James Joyces’ writing
and two common characteristics of the setting of Irish literature.
Joyce Statues. Dublin, Ireland (left). Trieste, Italy (middle). Zurich, Switerland (right)
Joyce biographical notes. (1882-1941)
• He was the eldest of ten children. He grew up in Dublin, Ireland.
• Joyce’s father liked to drink and his lack of attention to the family finances meant the Joyces never had much
• His exploration of language and new literary forms showed not only his genius as a writer but spawned a fresh
approach for novelists, one that drew heavily on Joyce's love of the stream-of-consciousness technique and the
examination of big events through small happenings in everyday lives.
• Joyce was exceedingly intelligent as a child and taught himself Norwegian at the age of 17 so that he could
read his favorite playwright’s (Henrik Ibsen) plays in their original language. He would go on to learn and
speak 17 languages.
• After college in Ireland, and after finding his lifelong love, Nora Barnacle, the two of them left Ireland
permanently and settled in Trieste, Italy. His first published work was a collection of short stories called
“Dubliners”, of which “Eveline” is a part.
• Joyce found fame after the publication of the landmark novel Ulysses in 1922.
Bio continued…
• Ulysses, which created great controversy and censorship debate due to some considering it pornographic and obscene
(by 1922 standards), was a novel that covered the span of one day in Joyce’s life – the day he met his wife Nora.
• Ulysses is famous for its groundbreaking use of stream of conscious.
• On the surface, the novel follows the story’s three central characters, Stephen Dedalus, Leopold Bloom, and his wife
Molly Bloom, as well as the city life that unfolds around them. But Ulysses is also a modern retelling of
Homer's Odyssey, with the three main characters serving as modern versions of Telemachus, Ulysses, and Penelope.
• Although Joyce achieved fame and financial success due to Ulysses and other novels, he battled illness much of his life,
particularly an ocular disease. At one point, Joyce had to write with a red crayon in large print to see what he was
• He died in 1941 in Zurich after an intestinal operation, his wife Nora and two children at his side.
• Bio.com. A&E Networks Television, n.d. Web. 16 Sept. 2014.
• Why James Joyce’s “Dubliners” is so cool! Live excerpts read by real Irish people! 2 minutes.
• According to the video, what makes Dubliners so unique in English literature?
Notes on Ireland. “The Emerald Isle”
• Ireland is a country with a proud history of rebellion against British tyranny, but
it is also a country with a history of poverty and violence.
• In the late 1700s, Ireland’s population was roughly 8 million people. Fifty years
later, about one million Irish immigrated to America to escape poverty caused
by the potato famine.
• U.S. immigration records indicate that by 1850, the Irish made up 43 percent of
our foreign-born population.
• Ireland is a country that has always been overwhelming Catholic. It was at war
with part of itself, that is, the small country of Northern Ireland, for about 80
• Northern Ireland was formed in 1921 by protestant citizens with strong ties to
England. Irish Catholics who lived in Northern Ireland waged war against the
separatist protestant well into the 1990s.
This all makes for what?
Great writers! Ireland, much like the American South, is famous for
producing great writers. Consider these opening lines from the novel
Angela’s Ashes, by Frank McCourt.
“When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I survived at all. It
was, of course, a miserable childhood: the happy childhood is hardly worth
your while. Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable
Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood.”
“Ireland” by Garth Brooks

Eveline” by James Joyce