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Being Covered from the Truth in Araby by James Joyce Essay

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Being Covered from the Truth in Araby by James Joyce


“Araby” by James Joyce, is a short story about a young boy trying to find and his search for inner happiness. The main setting takes place in the boy’s neighborhood where he lives with his aunt and uncle. The sub setting takes place in an Araby or English bazaar, a carnival if you will. In the neighborhood we find that there is; an uninhabited house that has not been occupied for some time, a girl, who’s referred to as ‘Mangan’s sister’, whom the boy has a lustful crush on, and a story of a deceased priest. In the Araby we find a lot of empty booths, along with some hollow characters. The neighborhood, the Araby, the boy, and other characters in the story have an overall theme of being covered from the truth.

The neighborhood has many examples of people and objects that are covered from the truth. The first object described in the story is that of an empty house that stood at the end of the street. The street was blind, a dead end, and the house was “detached from its neighbors…” (para.1). The fact that it was detached from all the other houses gives the impression that it was hiding from the other houses or that it was covering itself from the truth. “The other houses on the street” were “conscious of decent lives within them,” (para. 1) while the lone spacious house was hid from all decent life. The true purpose of a house is for the habitation of humans, so if a house is not doing that, then in a sense it is hiding itself from the truth of its creation, and from the other houses that are living up to their creation.

This pattern of ‘covering’ or ‘hiding’ is continued in the third paragraph, by the explanation of how the boy and his friends ...


... middle of paper ...


...he men accused the girl of saying something to which she denied trying to cover information or the truth from her accusers. The conversation starts with the girl’s denial:

“Oh I never said such a thing!”
“O, but you did!”
“O, but I didn’t!”
“Did she say that?”
“Yes, I heard her.”
“O, there’s a … fib!”
(Para. 27-32)

The sub setting of the Araby and it’s characters are shown to be covered from the truth, for an Araby should be a fun and entertaining place, while it’s workers should be energetic and enthusiastic, which neither lived up to it’s truth.

The main setting of the neighborhood with the uninhabited house, the boy, Mangan’s sister, and the priest, gives many examples of characters in hiding. As well as the Araby with its empty carnival and dull workers, all support the idea or theme of being covered from the truth.


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