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Araby by James Joyce Essay

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Araby is a short story that depicts and explores the how the power of universal paradigms such as religion and the family result in the formation of the identity, and the crisis of the individual in coming to terms with the expectations of a given society as the expected code of behavior that is being imposed as a system of conduct or performance which is expected of other from other; an Irish society that is trying to come to terms with its own historical crisis. There are ideological structures in place which guarantee the perpetuation of such practices across generations, such as the concept of a nationality or morality, which usually take the form of a state or a religion—Capitalism, Marxism, Religion and so on. Furthermore, these structures become the preliminary entrance of the individual/other to determining the identity of an individual. This is shown in the story, as a slow process that slowly changes from generation to generation and quest for the boy’s identity. However, I argue that this requires reinvention.
Firstly it is a necessity that Joyce captures in his use of the boy’s “epiphany,” as moment of clarity and self-understanding regarding a compulsion, a comprehension of his desire for the girl, and his awareness of a necessary course of action. Nevertheless, as I will reveal later how this goes deeper than the metaphors for a war of independence or a quest in search for a collective national identity. I will argue that Joyce identifies, through everyday examples, the root causes and primary structures in society that contribute, and have lead to, a crisis in the boy’s identity.The process of individual identity-formation, is as Lacan describes the illusoriness of this identification in his account of the mirror st...


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...for fulfillment, confusingly, but ornately conveyed by the multifaceted significance encoded into the word-product.
Although these inconsistences are debatable, they are all united on the basis that proclaim commodification and consumer discourse, in general, creates a dynamic and influential force in transforming the nature and behavior of each and every character. But what Joyce does is more than just underling how consumer discourse and advertising affect the boy’s pursuit of realism, nor does he present this as a quest of discovery of his own identity. In fact, he presents the total dynamic of the commodification in order to present the degree to which class disjunctions, gender constructions, ideology, power structures, social relations and subjectivity itself all overlap with each other, influenced by an continuously transforming universe of consumer discourse.


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