The character of Eveline Hill in Eveline from LitCharts | The creators of SparkNotes

Eveline

Eveline Hill Character Analysis

The protagonist of the story, Eveline is a hard-working Irish woman around age nineteen living with her father in her childhood home in Dublin. She lives a hard life caring for her abusive father and two children who have been left in her care, while also working in the Stores, the popular name for a local shop. She gives all of her earnings to her father, who still scolds her and accuses her of spending her money irresponsibly. He also has increasingly begun to threaten her, since she is no longer a child and neither of her brothers, Harry and Ernest, nor her mother, are around to protect her anymore. As a result of this stress, Eveline has begun to suffer from heart palpitations. Despite this, she still appreciates the familiarity and comfort of home, so it is particularly hard for her to make a decision when she finds herself contemplating whether or not to run away to Buenos Ayres with her lover, Frank. Much like in “Araby,” the conflict of the story happens entirely in the protagonist’s mind. Eveline feels obligated to stay in Dublin and fulfill her responsibilities and keep her promise to keep the house together, but she also feels that she should have the right to pursue her own happiness, rather than always attending to the needs of others. Eveline is deeply religious and continually prays to God, asking for guidance with her difficult decision. She feels perpetually powerless over her situation, and looks to either God or Frank to save her. Afraid of ending up like her mother, who continually sacrificed herself for her family and eventually went insane, Eveline decides to go meet Frank at the station and continue with her plan to run away. However, at the last minute she can only stare at the sea, overcome by anxiety and emotion, and watch Frank board the ship alone. Eveline is driven by fear, but also by her sense of helplessness. She knows that she does not love Frank, and could easily end up in another abusive situation, just like her mother.

Eveline Hill Quotes in Eveline

The Eveline quotes below are all either spoken by Eveline Hill or refer to Eveline Hill. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Paralysis and Inaction Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin Classics edition of Eveline published in 1993.
Eveline Quotes

Still they seemed to have been rather happy then… That was a long time ago; she and her brothers and sisters were all grown up; her mother was dead. Tizzie Dunn was dead, too, and the Waters had gone back to England. Everything changes. Now she was going to go away like the others, to leave her home.

Related Symbols: Water
Page Number: 29
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation long mobile

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Home! She looked round the room, reviewing all its familiar objects which she had dusted once a week for so many years, wondering where on earth all the dust came from. Perhaps she would never see again those familiar objects from which she had never dreamed of being divided.

Related Characters: Eveline Hill
Related Symbols: Dust
Page Number: 29 – 30
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

And yet during all those years she had never found out the name of the priest whose yellowing photograph hung on the wall above the broken harmonium beside the colored print of the promises made to Blessed Margaret Mary Alacoque.

Related Characters: Eveline Hill, The Priest
Page Number: 30
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

Miss Gavan would be glad. She had always had an edge on her, especially whenever there were people listening…But in her new home, in a distant unknown country, it would not be like that. Then she would be married – she, Eveline. People would treat her with respect then. She would not be treated as her mother had been.

Page Number: 30
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

Even now, though she was over nineteen, she sometimes felt herself in danger of her father’s violence. She knew it was that that had given her the palpitations. When they were growing up he had never gone for her, like he used to go for Harry and Ernest, because she was a girl; but latterly he had begun to threaten her and say what he would do to her only for her dead mother’s sake.

Page Number: 30
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

He took her to see The Bohemian Girl and she felt elated as she sat in an unaccustomed part of the theatre with him…People knew that they were courting and, when he sang about the lass that loves a sailor, she always felt pleasantly confused…First of all it had been an excitement for her to have a fellow and then she had begun to like him. He had tales of distant countries.

Related Characters: Eveline Hill, Frank
Page Number: 31 – 32
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

Her time was running out but she continued to sit by the window, leaning her head against the window curtain, inhaling the odour of dusty cretonne. Down far in the avenue she could hear a street organ playing. She knew the air. Strange that it should come that very night to remind her of the promise to her mother, her promise to keep the home together as long as she could.

Related Characters: Eveline Hill, Eveline’s Mother
Related Symbols: Dust
Page Number: 32 – 33
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

As she mused the pitiful vision of her mother’s life laid its spell on the very quick of her being – that life of commonplace sacrifices closing in final craziness. She trembled as she heard again her mother’s voice saying constantly with foolish insistence: –Derevaun Seraun! Derevaun Seraun!

Related Characters: Eveline Hill, Eveline’s Mother
Page Number: 33
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

She stood up in a sudden impulse of terror. Escape! She must escape! Frank would save her. He would give her life, perhaps love, too. But she wanted to live. Why should she be unhappy? She had a right to happiness.

Related Characters: Eveline Hill, Frank
Page Number: 33
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

Could she still draw back after all he had done for her? Her distress awoke a nausea in her body and she kept moving her lips in silent fervent prayer. A bell clanged upon her heart. She felt him seize her hand: –Come! All the seas of the world tumbled about her heart. He was drawing her into them: he would drown her.

Related Characters: Eveline Hill, Frank
Related Symbols: Water
Page Number: 33 – 34
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
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Eveline Hill Character Timeline in Eveline

The timeline below shows where the character Eveline Hill appears in Eveline. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Eveline
Paralysis and Inaction Theme Icon
The Many Forms of Death Theme Icon
Eveline, a nineteen-year-old woman in Dublin, is sitting with her head against the curtains, watching dusk... (full context)
Paralysis and Inaction Theme Icon
Escapism and the Exotic Theme Icon
The Many Forms of Death Theme Icon
Eveline reflects back on her childhood, realizing that she was happier back then when her father... (full context)
Paralysis and Inaction Theme Icon
Women and Society Theme Icon
The Many Forms of Death Theme Icon
Catholic Values and Confinement Theme Icon
Eveline is suddenly overcome with nostalgia as she looks around at the objects that she has... (full context)
Escapism and the Exotic Theme Icon
Women and Society Theme Icon
Eveline is starting to question her decision to leave more and more. In Dublin she has... (full context)
Paralysis and Inaction Theme Icon
Women and Society Theme Icon
The Many Forms of Death Theme Icon
Now that Eveline is over nineteen and none of her siblings are there to protect her, her father... (full context)
Escapism and the Exotic Theme Icon
Women and Society Theme Icon
Eveline reflects on her relationship with her lover, Frank. She is planning to take the night... (full context)
Women and Society Theme Icon
The Many Forms of Death Theme Icon
Catholic Values and Confinement Theme Icon
Eveline looks down at the two letters she has been holding in her lap: one for... (full context)
Escapism and the Exotic Theme Icon
Women and Society Theme Icon
The Many Forms of Death Theme Icon
Eveline feels pity for her mother, who seems to have spent her life making sacrifices for... (full context)
Paralysis and Inaction Theme Icon
Escapism and the Exotic Theme Icon
Women and Society Theme Icon
The Many Forms of Death Theme Icon
Catholic Values and Confinement Theme Icon
Eveline meets Frank at the station, but cannot seem to focus on what he is saying... (full context)
Paralysis and Inaction Theme Icon
Escapism and the Exotic Theme Icon
Women and Society Theme Icon
The Many Forms of Death Theme Icon
Catholic Values and Confinement Theme Icon
At last Eveline feels “a bell clang upon her heart” and Frank grabs her hand to board the... (full context)