Spiritual Paralysis and Epiphany: James Joyce's "Eveline" and "The Boarding House"
Gaziantep University Journal of Social Sciences
This article intends to highlight James Joyce's ironical outlook for the existence of epiphanies in women's lives to be released from their spiritual paralysis and stagnation as indicated in "Eveline" (1904) and "The Boarding House" (1906) in Dubliners. In "Eveline" and "The Boarding House," Joyce portrays women who are in a struggle for setting aside the inequalities and miseries of their social environment through their representative wish for emancipation in their lonely and alienated state
... f minds. Trapped in a web of social expectations and constraints, women intend to escape from the strict patriarchal society of Dublin in these short stories. Structured and controlled by the issue of femininity, James Joyce writes about the effects of the Irish society on female adolescents. "Eveline" and "The Boarding House" offer two portrayals of women who are enclosed by the dominance of the rigid patriarchal society which ends up the need for emancipation from social rigid rules. In these stories, however, the women characters portray a continuation of the choice of their domestic female roles, i.e., their struggle for emancipation turns out to be useless. "Eveline" is the story of a young teenager who faces a dilemma where she has to choose either she has to live with her father or escape with his boyfriend. In "The Boarding House," Mrs. Mooney, a working woman who has rooms to be rented by the young male lodgers, is also in a struggle for supporting herself and her two children. She is in search for emancipation from her drunken abusive husband having social prejudices. Hence, both of these stories highlight women's tendency for exploring their selfhood and free will because of the inequalities and struggles of patriarchal society of the time in which they are spiritually paralyzed. Thus, James Joyce hints at women's wish for emancipation