Analysis of “Eveline” by James Joyce and “Lamb to the Slaughter” by Roald Dahl

Last Updated: 20 Dec 2022
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'Eveline' and 'Lamb to the Slaughter'

The story Eveline interprets different meanings through foreshadowing, repetition, personification, irony and symbolism. James' Joyce uses language that makes the story full of emotion and weight. To convey passiveness and lifelessness, Joyce uses diction and syntax. In other words, his writing style is related to how we speak. When he uses syntax and diction, it expresses the theme of the story. We have the theme of recollection, responsibility, decisions, conflict, escape, censurability and paralysis. This short story explores the crucial life in Dublin. The lamb to the slaughter is another story that is of interest. It is written by Roald Dahl, but is narrated by Mary Maloney. Dahl uses irony, repetition and symbols in this story because he wants to ensure that there is meaning and emotion. When it comes to irony, Dahl aimed to make the readers stop and think about what the story is saying.

An example of foreshadowing is the line where it says, 'Eveline' stands alone, staring out a window." This foreshadows the last scene of the story. The writer used this technique to inform the audience that something surprising or important was about to happen later on in the story. Joyce used subtle hints, because he wanted to create suspense within the story and he didn't want to reveal the plot twist completely. He wanted to make the clues obvious enough, so that the audience would later on recall them. He used the foreshadowing technique earlier, because he wanted to create stronger affects in the story. He does this by understanding the purpose of this technique and knowing what the basic story is going to be all about. Dahl also creates a solid effect, so that he can allow the readers to cooperate with him, in order to put the pieces together in the story. This indicates the strong connection between the author and reader. It is crucial for the writer and reader to have a good relationship, because they may misunderstand what the sentences and words are trying to say, due to their personal experiences and values.

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An example of repetition is when Eveline says that "Frank is going to save her." James Joyce used repetition to make us pay attention to a specific point of the story. It gives the audience a hint to focus more. Using repetitions gives important meaning depending on the types of circumstances. He used this technique properly, meaning that he used it when it was appropriate. He chose words that were imperative. He did not overuse repetition, because he knew that it would cause loose effects in the story. He used the repeated words in a way that would be remembered. He added repetition in a smart way so that it can emphasize the idea. When you use emphasis, it can add a reasonable tone. His work was engaging, because he created a rhythm by applying repetition. This is more likely to intrigue the audience. In the story 'Lamb to the Slaughter', Alliteration is also build through the repetition in the line "curtains were closed", and "lamp were lit." Dahl used the technique to make the audience concentrate on a certain part of the text. Atmosphere and theme is also created by this technique. To adopt this technique, Dahl thought of the subject he wanted to emphasize, he chose words that associated with the topic and he placed the words closely in the sentence.

In Eveline, Joyce uses personification. This is shown in the first line of the story, where it says "she sat at the window watching evening invade the avenue." This technique gives a description of a non-human object doing things that is of human quality. Joyce utilised this technique, because he came to a realization that the readers will understand the nature and actions of non-human objects in a better way. It can also convince the readers to react sympathetically and emotionally. It can make the written descriptions vivid. Joyce chose personification, because it causes the reader to relate to the text. To use personification, he thought of the feelings he was hoping to point out, he plotted a situation that would best suit the feeling and he wrote a description of the objects in a human's perspective.

An example of irony is, "her eyes gave him no sign of love or farewell or recognition." This means that she didn't care about leaving him and bidding him goodbye. The writer used irony so that it can emphasize the idea. It keeps the audience interested and it creates suspenseful feelings in readers. Using irony catches the audience's attention. When there is irony involved in the story, it means that the reader knows mores information that the character. An author can make more comparison, when they show their irony verbally. In 'Lamb to the Slaughter', the dramatic irony is used as a final irony. This is because the reader knows that the murder weapon is the leg of lamb. One example of irony occurs when Patrick told Mary that he is leaving her. In order to successfully use this technique, Dahl revealed the vulnerability of the characters in situations they don't understand.

Symbolism. One example of symbol in Eveline is 'dust'. The dust reminds the audience that Eveline's task is always the same each day and it's infinite. Dust portrays death and life cycle. The symbol of 'dust' came to a reminder to people, as it is a biblical phase "from dust to dust." This states that dust is the lack of existence. In 'Lamb to the Slaughter', Dahl uses symbol in the title itself. Lamb has been used for a thousand of years. It symbolises innocence and purity. The title consists of many reasons. Dahl chose this title, because he knew that it will give a dark humour. He wanted to give a clue of what the murder weapon will be. Because they help to identify the ideas and concepts, symbols are considered to be important.

It is now clearly stated that the two stories are similar, in relation to the types of techniques the writer used. James Joyce and Roald Dahl both used irony and symbols, because they wanted to engage the audience in the story so that they can be intrigued. By making the stories interesting, the techniques in the story were used effectively. They didn't overdo it, because they know that when you use too much of the technique, it can make the story sound boring and uninteresting.

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Analysis of “Eveline” by James Joyce and “Lamb to the Slaughter” by Roald Dahl. (2022, Dec 20). Retrieved from

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