Preview
Preview

James Joyce's Araby - Araby as Epiphany for the Common Man Essay

:: 1 Works Cited
Length: 2076 words (5.9 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Blue      
Open Document
Need writing help? Check your paper »



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

James Joyce's Dubliners - Araby as Epiphany for the Common Man


Joseph Campbell was one of many theorists who have seen basic common denominators in the myths of the world's great religions, Christianity among them, and have demonstrated how elements of myth have found their way into "non-religious" stories. Action heroes, in this respect, are not unlike saints. Biblical stories are, quite simply, the mythos of the Catholic religion, with saints being the heroes in such stories. The Star Wars film saga is, according to Campbell, an example of the hero's maturation via the undertaking of a great quest. Though it is a safe assumption that many of today's film makers are unconscious of the extent to which their narratives approach biblical parallels, Joyce spent his career turning seemingly simple stories into veiled recantings of biblical and mythical experience. "Araby" is a case-in-point. Like Luke Skywalker, the boy in "Araby" certainly reaches a maturation of sorts while undertaking a quest. Joyce takes accurate and mundane details of Dublin life and elevates them into a grand mythical pattern, targeting a moment of departure and awakening for the boy. Joyce's function in equating mundane experience with heroic experience is to propose that the potential for epiphany--the hero's realization of a certain truth--is not exclusive to saints alone, but exists in all people.

In order to so, Joyce must declare a relationship between the ordinary and the sublime. The ordinariness of the boy's story is apparent. On one level, it is a simple story about the kind of unrequited "puppy love" that strikes most boys of his age. The details of the setting come from real Dublin--North Richmond Street and Westland Row Station--and depict ...


... middle of paper ...


...t chooses to go to the temple, Orpheus chooses to go to Tartaros. Joyce made his own choice: to leave Ireland, and the result is a lifetime's body of work that demonstrates great insight. It is a good guess that this insight came from a realization Joyce himself may have had--his own epiphany, if you will--illustrating the extent to which the pattern of journey and realization found their way into his life as well as his work.

Work Cited

Joyce, James. Dubliners. New York: Washington Square Press, 1998.

Works Consulted

Schwarz, David R. Dubliners: Complete, Authoritative Text with Biographical and Historical Contexts, Critical History, and Essays from Five Contemporary Critical Perspectives. Ed. David R. Schwarz. Boston: Bedford Books of St. Martin’s Press, 1994.

Werner, Craig Hansen. Dubliners: A Pluralistic World. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1988.


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  
Youthful Experience in James Joyce's Araby Essay - Youthful Experience in James Joyce's Araby James Joyce's, "Araby" is a simple tale of youthful passion set in the midst of a harsh economic era. The main character of the story is a young boy living in a bleak environment who becomes entangled in the passions, frustrations, and realizations of youth. The bleak setting of the era is enhanced by the narrator's descriptions of the young boy's surroundings. "Araby" is a story of the loneliness of youth, the joy of youthful passion, and the realization of lost dreams....   [tags: Joyce Dubliners Araby Essays]
:: 2 Works Cited
1610 words
(4.6 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
The Reality of World in Araby and Boys and Girls Essay - Our perception about the world change as we grow up and experience the reality of life. This is the necessary and universal experience that we all must undergo to face the world successfully. The protagonists in James Joyce’s “Araby” and Alice Munro’s “Boys and Girls experience a common initiation of how different the world is, compared to how they would like to see. The reader is given a glance into the lives of two adolescents. The protagonists in both stories are of the growing age and their perceptions about the world change....   [tags: Boys and Girls, Araby Essays] 1184 words
(3.4 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Symbolism in A Good Man is Hard to Find and Araby Essay - Symbolism In the short story, “A Good Man is Hard to Find”, by Flannery O'Connor, every object including the characters are symbols. The Grandmother for example is the one and only dynamic character, represents all of us who have had to feel grief or needed to ask for forgiveness. As Flannery O'Connor has suggested, the story is a spiritual journey because of the Grandmother's quandaries. In the beginning of the story the Grandmother is obsessed with everything worldly and superficial. She cares only about how others perceive her, “Her collars and cuffs were white organdy trimmed with lace and at her neckline she had pinned a purple spray of cloth violets containing a sachet....   [tags: Flannery O'Connor James Joyce]
:: 2 Works Cited
1375 words
(3.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on Araby by James Joyce - Araby "Anyone still capable of wondering aloud whether the last word on Joyce has not already been published demonstrates an ignorance of the scope of the problem comparable to assuming that the Model T Ford is the last word in locomotive possibilities" (Benstock 1). This quote of Bernard Benstock serves as evidence to the complexity and the brilliance of James Joyce's works. In fact, some would say that his works were too brilliant and complex, as it took ten years for his collection of short stories, Dubliners, to be published because his publishing company refused to print it....   [tags: Dubliners]
:: 2 Works Cited
1351 words
(3.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Unable to Permanently Escape Reality in Paul´s Case by Willa Carter and Araby by James Joyce - ... Instead of depositing all the money, Paul only deposited the checks and kept the cash for himself. The cash that Paul stole amounted to a thousand dollars. Fed up with his common daily life, Paul jumps on the midnight train to New York City. In the city Paul finds the glamorized life he was hoping for. He was quick to spend the money on an expensive hotel room, fancy clothes, five-star meals and other unnecessary wants. Paul finally escaped the hostile world he lived in, but his money-bought romance did not last long....   [tags: protagonists, pleasure, romance] 955 words
(2.7 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Essay on Bubbles in James Joyce's Short Story Collection, Dubliners - Many of Joyce’s characters in Dubliners are trapped in a bubble, where they are paralyzed and confined to a world that they want to escape. The first example of this is in “Araby” where the narrator is attracted to a young girl. He can hear her, see her, and dream and wish about her. He always thinks about her, and longs to be with her: “Her image accompanied me even in places the most hostile to romance (Joyce, 25).” However, he is unable to escape from himself and talk to her or get to know her....   [tags: Araby, literary analysis] 921 words
(2.6 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Growing Up in Araby by James Joyce and Boys and Girls by Alice Munro Essay - Growing Up in Araby by James Joyce and Boys and Girls by Alice Munro In the stories “Araby” by James Joyce, and “Boys and Girls” by Alice Munro, there is a common theme of growing up. In both of these stories the characters came to a realization of who they were and what they wanted to be. They both are of the age when reality strikes and priorities take on meaning. The characters in both stories evolve through rites of passage but the way in which these revolutions occur differ with each character....   [tags: Boys and Girls, Alice Munro] 972 words
(2.8 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on The Humorist for the Common Man: James Thurber - As America was changing during the early twentieth century, so was humor and few writers could easily adapt to this change with success as well as James Thurber did as a cartoonist, journalist, and an author of short stories, fables, fairytales, and plays, Thurber highlighted the problems of everyday life that were often the result of the transition in America from a masculine, frontier society, to an urban, more feminized society (Buckley, New Criterion). He shied away from major problems of the world and instead made his focus “the immemorial stupidities, cruelties and perversities of men that lie at the root of our ills” (Hasley)....   [tags: humor, james thurber, common man] 1196 words
(3.4 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Dubliners: A Collection of Short Stories Essay - ... Having gone through traumatic experiences, only to discover that everything that they thought was possible were nothing more than a mere dream. "An Encounter" proposes that one's desire for escape and adventure won't stop the daily routines because its unaviodable. New experiences that people expect could sometimes be disturbing. The story commences with kids playing Wild West for the sole purpose of disrupting school activities. An unnamed boy, playing as the narrator craves for exciting adventures and persuades his two friends to skip one day of school to venture the streets of Dublin....   [tags: araby, abnormal behavior] 629 words
(1.8 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Essay about Common Themes In Short Stories - James Joyce, a most prestigious author of many titles, has incorporated into his works many different thoughts, life experiences, as well as themes. Those three things that he used in his works I believe are what made him the awesome author he is today. The main focus of this paper is to inform you of the themes that reoccur in many of his short stories. Some themes that I noticed were: family, frustration, dreams of escape, love infatuations, and finally, sin. Family is a strong theme in Joyce’s writings for in Araby, the young teen finds himself obeying his uncle and asking his permission to go to the festival showing his sense of respect and need for family....   [tags: essays research papers] 960 words
(2.7 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]