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Essay Coming of Aage and Love in the Story Araby

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Love often times is one of the strongest motivators. Love can inspire acts of extreme bravery, crush one’s heart, and can even force a person to move on and grow up. In this novel, Araby is a bazaar that conveyed an ill-assorted blend of pseudo-Eastern romanticism and blatant commercialism. For one shilling, as the advertisement put it, one could visit "Araby in Dublin" and at the same time aid the Jervis Street Hospital (Stone). What does love have to do with a foreign bazaar? In the short story a young boy secretly falls in love with a girl and promises to bring her a gift from Araby. In the end, he fails to bring her a gift and is heartbroken as he comes to a realization that all has and would have been in vain. Love, and more important, the lack of it, is one of the greatest motivators for one to come of age and transition into adulthood.
The story is written from the perspective of the boy and allows an extremely emotional perspective as his deeper feelings are revealed. The author, James Joyce, includes many details that reference his own past experiences and help relate the story to his own life. It is widely speculated that “Araby” is actually an autobiographical experience from Joyce’s early childhood. While Joyce never referred to the short story autobiographically, a number of connections can be made. For example, both the boy in “Araby” and James Joyce grew up on North Richmond Street. “North Richmond Street is blind, with a detached two-story house at the blind end, and down the street, as the opening paragraph informs us, the Christian Brothers’ school” (Stone). Also, many critics have related the boy’s aunt and uncle to Joyce’s parents as they have striking similarities such as his father’s drunkenness, irregular ...


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... is a very strange sensation to inexperienced youth to feel itself quite alone in the world, cut adrift from every connection, uncertain whether the port to which it is bound can be reached, and prevented by many impediments from returning to that it has quitted.” (Brontë). The boy may be temporarily hurt by the experience of realizing his own futility, but it will also inspire him to mature and become a better man.


Works Cited
Joyce, James. Dubliners.: Modern Library, 1969. Print.
Norris, Margot. "The Narrator's Blindness." Bloom's Literature. Facts On File, Inc. Web. 7 Mar. 2014
Russell, John. "From Style to Meaning in 'Araby.'" College English 28.2 (1966): 170-71. Print.
Stone, Harry. "'Araby' and the Writings of James Joyce." The Antioch Review 25.3 (1965): 375-410. Print.
Brontë, Charlotte. Jane Eyre: An Autobiography. Leipzig: Tauchnitz, 1850. Print.


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