Preview
Preview

Themes of Alienation and Control in James Joyce's Araby Essay

:: 1 Works Cited
Length: 1851 words (5.3 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Blue      
Open Document
Need writing help? Check your paper »



- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Alienation of “Araby”

Although “Araby” is a fairly short story, author James Joyce does a remarkable job of discussing some very deep issues within it. On the surface it appears to be a story of a boy's trip to the market to get a gift for the girl he has a crush on. Yet deeper down it is about a lonely boy who makes a pilgrimage to an eastern-styled bazaar in hopes that it will somehow alleviate his miserable life. James Joyce’s uses the boy in “Araby” to expose a story of isolation and lack of control. These themes of alienation and control are ultimately linked because it will be seen that the source of the boy's emotional distance is his lack of control over his life.
The story begins as the boy describes his neighborhood. Immediately feelings of isolation and hopelessness begin to set in. The street that the boy lives on is a dead end, right from the beginning he is trapped. In addition, he feels ignored by the houses on his street. Their brown imperturbable faces make him feel excluded from the decent lives within them. The street becomes a representation of the boy’s self, uninhabited and detached, with the houses personified, and arguably more alive than the residents (Gray). Every detail of his neighborhood seems designed to inflict him with the feeling of isolation. The boy's house, like the street he lives on, is filled with decay. It is suffocating and “musty from being long enclosed.” It is difficult for him to establish any sort of connection to it. Even the history of the house feels unkind. The house's previous tenant, a priest, had died while living there. He “left all his money to institutions and the furniture of the house to his sister (Norton Anthology 2236).” It was as if he was trying to insure the boy's boredom and solitude. The only thing of interest that the boy can find is a bicycle pump, which is rusty and rendered unfit to play with. Even the “wild” garden is gloomy and desolate, containing but a lone apple tree and a few straggling bushes. It is hardly the sort of yard that a young boy would want. Like most boys, he has no voice in choosing where he lives, yet his surroundings have a powerful effect on him.
His home and neighborhood are not the only sources of the boy's animosity. The weather is also unkind to the boy. Not only is it cold, but the short days of winter make play more difficult under the “feeb...


... middle of paper ...


... is not at all that he imagined. It is dismal and dark and thrives on the profit motive and the eternal lure its name evokes in men. The boy realizes that he has placed all his love and hope in a world that does not exist except in his imagination. He feels angry and betrayed and realizes his self-deception. He feels he is “a creature driven and derided by vanity” and the vanity is his own (Sample Essays).
The story provides many sources for the boy's animosity. Beginning with his home and overall environment, and reaching all the way to the adults that surround him. However, it is clear that all of these causes of the boy's isolation have something in common, he has control over none of these factors. While many of these circumstances no one can expect to have control over, it is the culmination of all these elements that lead to the boy’s undeniable feeling of lack of control.

Works Cited
The Norton Anthology of English Literature. New York: W.W. Norton & Company. 2000

Classic Notes on Dubliners. Grade Saver. 2003.

Sample Essays Analyzing James Joyce's Short Story “Araby”.

Gray, Wallace. Notes for James Joyce's “Araby”. World Wide Dubliners.


Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »







This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
Themes in James Joyce's Araby Essays - In the story of, "Araby" James Joyce concentrated on three main themes that will explain the purpose of the narrative. The story unfolded on North Richmond Street, which is a street composed of two rows of houses, in a desolated neighborhood. Despite the dreary surroundings of "dark muddy lanes" and "ash pits" the boy tried to find evidence of love and beauty in his surroundings. Throughout the story, the boy went through a variety of changes that will pose as different themes of the story including alienation, transformation, and the meaning of religion (Borey)....   [tags: Araby Essays] 653 words
(1.9 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Workplace Alienation Essay - Throughout my work experience I have been a witness to various degrees of work alienation. As I continue to gather additional experience in the work environment and engage in discussions with fellow employees, it is clearly evident that there is workplace discontentment and feelings of being taken advantage of. Based on my work experiences to date, I agree with James Rinehart’s claim that forms of alienation are evident in the workplace. They force human beings into modes of behaviour that are unnatural and possibly harmful....   [tags: Work and Alienation]
:: 1 Works Cited
1181 words
(3.4 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on Theory of Alienation: Marx and Nietzsche - Marx’s theory of alienation is concerned primarily with social interaction and production; he believes that we are able to overcome our alienation through human emancipation. Marx’s theory of alienation is the process by which social organized productive powers are experienced as external or alien forces that dominate the humans that create them. He believes that production is man’s act on nature and on himself. Man’s relationship with nature is his relationship with his tools, or means of production....   [tags: Theory of Alienation]
:: 12 Works Cited
2372 words
(6.8 pages)
Research Papers [preview]
Themes in Shakespeare's Othello Essay - Othello was written by Jacobean playwright William Shakespeare in 1603. It proved a huge success when first performed in 1604, in front of a huge audience. The story is one of Shakespeare’s great tragedy themed plays. Othello is the black protagonist and highly esteemed Venetian general. Iago is the ambitious but scheming villain of the play. When Othello promotes a man called Michael Cassio over Iago, he is furious and launches a malicious campaign against Othello. Meanwhile, Othello has married a white woman, Desdemona, without her father knowing....   [tags: Othello, Shakespeare, themes,] 1165 words
(3.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Karl Marx and Capitalist Alienation Essay - The concept of alienation plays a significant role in Marx's early political writing, especially in the Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1848, but it is rarely mentioned in his later works. This implies that while Marx found alienation useful in investigating certain basic aspects of the development of capitalist society, it is less useful in putting forward the predictions of the collapse of capitalism. The aim of this essay is to explain alienation, and show how it fits into the pattern of Marx's thought....   [tags: Alienation Marxism Marxist]
:: 15 Works Cited
1843 words
(5.3 pages)
Term Papers [preview]
Karl Marx - Capitalist Alienation Essay - Karl Marx - Capitalist Alienation THE TERM "alienation" in normal usage refers to a feeling of separateness, of being alone and apart from others. For Marx, alienation was not a feeling or a mental condition, but an economic and social condition of class society--in particular, capitalist society. Alienation, in Marxist terms, refers to the separation of the mass of wage workers from the products of their own labor. Marx first expressed the idea, somewhat poetically, in his 1844 Manuscripts: "The object that labor produces, its product, stands opposed to it as something alien, as a power independent of the producer." Most of us own neither the tools and machinery we work with nor the prod...   [tags: Alienation Capitalist Society Marxism] 649 words
(1.9 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Marx's Idea of Workers' Alienation From the Production Process Essay - Alienation is a process in which humanity is progressively turned into stranger in world created by labour. (A. Swingewood 2000 p32). It succeeds in creating vast accumulations of wealth at one pole of society, an increase in value of thing achieved only at the cost of progressive defaulting human life itself. Alienation however, occur only when humanity having externalised itself, encounter it’s own activity, it essence, operating as an external, alien and oppressive power....   [tags: Workers' Alienation] 1627 words
(4.6 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Themes Of Betrayal In James Jo Essay - Origins of the Theme of Betrayal in James Joyce's Dubliners Throughout his early years, certain people and events heightened Joyce's awareness of the hopelessly corrupt environment of Ireland that had betrayed so many of its own. The more profound of these enlightening inspirations were the betrayal and downfall of Charles Stewart Parnell, the indifference of Henrik Ibsen towards literary protests, the neglected native artistry of James Clarence Mangan, and Joyce's own role as Prefect. These occurrences provoked Joyce's bitter resentment towards Ireland, initiating the gradual alienation towards his church and homeland....   [tags: essays research papers fc]
:: 2 Works Cited
2711 words
(7.7 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Marx's Theory of Alienation Essay - Marx's theory of alienation has to do with the separation of things that logically belong together. According to Marx, alienation is a universal result of capitalism. Marx's theory of alienation is based upon his observation that, within the capitalist mode of production, workers consistently lose determination of their lives and fates by being deprived of the right to envision themselves as the administrator of their actions. Workers become autonomous, self-realized people, but are lead and diverted into goals and activities set down by those who have power....   [tags: Marx's Theory of Alienation] 1075 words
(3.1 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
James Joyce's "Dubliners" Essay - James Joyce's "Dubliners" Throughout James Joyce’s “Dubliners” there are four major themes that are all very connected these are regret, realization, self hatred and Moral paralysis, witch is represented with the actual physical paralysis of Father Flynn in “The Sisters”. In this paper I intend to explore the different paths and contours of these themes in the four stories where I think they are most prevalent ,and which I most enjoyed “Araby”, “Eveline”, “The Boarding House”, and “A Little Cloud”....   [tags: James Joyce Dubliners Themes Essays] 1131 words
(3.2 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]