Mapping: Following the Characters of "Eveline"

Mapping: Following the Characters of "Eveline"

My belated mapping lab follows the travels of the characters from James Joyce's "Eveline" after they manage to leave the Dublin. I chose to include the characters whom Joyce explained are dead, and placed them at Dead Armadillo Brewery in Tulsa, Oklahoma for a better visual representation of the characters who were never able to leave Dublin.

Working on this map allowed me to explore different areas of Ireland as I decided how to place Eveline's brother, Harry, who "was nearly always down somewhere in the country" (Joyce) working on churches. To find a representation of where he may be, I explored the most beautiful Cathedrals in Ireland to see if I could find one that was in a more secluded location. Without much luck in the embedded article by Celtic Group Hostels (probably due to their desire to promote themselves as locations to stay when visiting said cathedrals) I explored Google Maps myself to find a worthy cathedral for Harry. I landed on St. Mary's Catholic Church in Killarney. This was a nice escape from the cathedrals in Downtown Tulsa that, while lovely, are a reminder that Covid-19 has greatly limited my ability to travel this year.

Making this map made me reflect upon how difficult travel was before flying became possible, helping put into perspective how final moving a long distance could be for any relationship. It also illustrated the difficulties women like Eveline faced in attempting to travel. Eveline was unable to afford a way out of Dublin on her own due to her father taking her wages. She was likely making less money than a man would make for the same work, therefore it would have been difficult to save enough money to pay for a long trip regardless of her living situation.

Eveline’s feeling of isolation as she is away from her brothers and mother, who all were far away from her either in death or distance, is clearly illustrated in the scattering of lines away from Dublin, where Eveline remains for the duration of the novel. The beginning of the story makes it clear that Eveline desires to “go away like the others” (Joyce), but she was only able to attempt to do so with the alleged help of a man. The Google map draws attention to Eveline, represented as the only red marker on the map, alone not far from where she began in Dublin. The rest of the markers are much farther from the original location, remaining their original blue.

There is a very clear connection between this lab and the reading Moretti’s “Maps” from Graphs, Maps, and Trees, in that creating this map allowed me to give Eveline much more thought than I would have if I were reading Joyce’s Dubliners without slowing down to consider just how stranded Eveline felt in her world, far away from the people she grew up with. This also makes me reconsider the concept of a work’s aura referenced in Bornstein’s “How to Read a Page,” and how “Eveline” would have been received by someone familiar with Joyce’s Dublin.

Bornstein states that ”removing that aura removes the iconicity of the page, and important aspects of a text's meaning” (Bornstein, 7). My first reading of this passage disregarded his sentiment as a conservative longing to return to print over digital media, however his argument is valid. My original reading of the text without considering the importance of location caused me to overlook the significance of the loneliness Eveline felt as she remained in Dublin while her childhood companions were gone. Having gone back to reread the text and consider the distance between Eveline and her loved ones makes the passage much more powerful.