Eveline is a story written about a young woman, Eveline Hill, and many events in her life leading up to her final day before leaving home for the first time. Eveline has a plan to run away with a sailor to Buenos Aires and is depicted reliving her memories of home while gazing out one of its windows the evening before she is expecting to leave on a ship. In this way the narrator describes Eveline's past. The reader follows along her train of thought as she jumps from one highlighted memory to the next. Much of what Eveline recollects are snapshots of events interwoven together to provide a big picture of her life up until this point. As she looks down the street her neighborhood functions as a sort of thought provoking catalyst. While the author, James Joyce, describes the street as rather inanimate, the narration of Eveline's thoughts give readers an insight into the role that the neighborhood plays in her sudden decision not to leave Dublin.
Joyce's descriptions of Eveline are rather indirect. Without any explicit description the reader is provided with only implications of to deduce an impression the character. The consensus, however, is an introverted girl, soft spoken but well thought out and hardworking, molded from a once care free young girl by experiences of tremendous grief throughout different times in her life. She has lost her brother, mother and a good friend, Tizzie Dunn, in her 19 years of life in Dublin. The death of her mother was especially prominent in Eveline's decisive uncertainty on this evening. Guilt comes over her as she recalls the organ player that had disturbed their family the last night her mother was alive. She had promised her mother that she would keep the house together, but now realizes that she plans to abandon it, in direct violation of her promise. This is initially perceivable as a noble feeling of guilt, but Joyce downplays the emotion by tainting the reader's impression of Eveline's mother.