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James Joyce's Araby - Character, Structure and Style in Araby

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Character, Structure and Style in Araby  

    According to Hazel Edwards, “A good story writer needs to be a craftsman, for the construction is tighter than that required for most novels. Usually a short story concentrates on a few characters- rarely more than three major ones. The story revolves around a single, dramatic incident which typifies the characters’ reactions. Length varies from 1,000 to about 5,000 words.” With these characteristics in mind, then we are going to examine James Joyce’s short story Araby  in terms of depiction of character, the story structure and the style.


Araby  was one of the short stories from James Joyce’s short story collection called Dubliners first published in 1907. As James Joyce was born in Dublin, he chose to write stories about the everyday lives of men, women and children of this place during the late Victorian period. The schools, streets, businesses, hotels, and public figures generally appear under their real names and it accounts to the realistic style of the story.


In the opening of the story, James Joyce carefully described the protagonist’s neighborhood and surroundings in three paragraphs. As he used real names like’ North Richmond street’ and “ Christian brothers’ School “, thus by reading the first paragraph, readers are able to figure out a map of the community in which the protagonist lived . Then he went on to lead us to the late priest’s drawing room . The detailed description of the room appealed to our senses . Following the footsteps of the protagonist, the readers can smell the musty air of the room, see the littered kitchen, touch the curl and damp books found in the kitchen. From the third paragraph, we were told about the season, weather an...

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Edwards, Hazel. (1984)Discussing Literature. Melbourne : Longman

Godfrey.M.J .(1992).Essays on ¡¨TheSisters¡¨ and ¡§TheDead¡¨.

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Kramer, Susan. (1996). Triangular Structure in James Joyce’s Dubliners.

Olmstead, Robert. (1997). Elements of the Writing Craft. Ohio : Story Press.

Valente, Francesca. (1999). Joyce’s Dubliners as Epiphanies.

Wilblyi, Jennifer. (1999). Response Paper on Joyce’s ¡Araby¡¨ and¡Eveline¡¨.



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