James Joyce's "Eveline" poses the question of Ireland's identity within the British Empire in indirect but powerful terms. In its depiction of Eveline's paralyzing suspension between home and world, Joyce's story echoes the contemporary cultural nationalist diagnosis of modern Ireland as an "unworkable compound" of imperial and national affinities. Joyce, however, presents this unworkable compound as a constitutive condition of modern Irish life, not an inauthentic imposition. "Eveline" thus highlights what is distinctive about Joyce's representation of Ireland and empire, as Joyce dramatizes how ordinary Irish people experienced that relationship in all its varied aspects of participation and subordination.


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