Select Literary Elements of “Araby”
In “Araby” by James Joyce, the author uses several literary elements to convey the multitude of deep meanings within the short story. Three of the most prominent and commonly used by Joyce are the elements of how the themes were developed, the unbounded use of symbolism, and the effectiveness of a particular point of view. Through these three elements Joyce was able to publish his world famous story and allow his literary piece to be understood and criticized by many generations.
The first and most obvious theme that Joyce develops throughout the story is the staunch devotion to religion, especially Catholicism. Growing up in the mostly Catholic city of Dublin, the narrator was born with a deep dedication to Catholicism. The narrator experiences his religion everyday when he attends a Jesuit boarding school, plays in a Catholic city, and comes home to a devout family. Although the main character does not seem opposed to his faith, he tends to channel his emotional devotion to his friend Magnan’s sister, instead of the commonly accepted religious figures. The theme of religion also continues when the narrator describes the recently deceased tenant to the reader. That tenant was a lonely and studious priest that was always reading and rarely left his study. After the Priest’s death, the narrator finds three books that belonged to the deceased tenant. Two of them are personal downtime books about romance and memoirs, but the last one was a pretty substantial book about religious doctrines written by a Franciscan friar (Barnhisel).
Later in the story, the narrator builds the theme of religion by indirectly revealing a strong devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. This devotion is taken t...
... middle of paper ...
Barnhisel, Greg. "An Overview of 'Araby,'." Short Stories for Students. Ed. Kathleen
Wilson. Vol. 1. Detroit: Gale, 2002. Literature Resource Center. Web. 27 Jan. 2014.
Coulthard, A.R. "Joyce's 'Araby.' (James Joyce)." The Explicator 52.2 (1994): 97+.
Literature Resource Center. Web. 27 Jan. 2014.
Freimarck, John. “’Araby’: A Quest for Meaning,” in James Joyce Quarterly, Vol. 7,
no. 4, Summer, 1970, pp. 366-8. Rpt. in Short Stories for Students. Ed. Kathleen
Wilson. Vol. 1. Detroit: Gale, 2002. 1-15. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 27 Jan. 2014.
Joyce, James. "Araby." A Book of Modern Short Stories. Ed. Dorothy Brewster. New York:
The Macmillan Company, 1933. 1. LitFinder. Web. 27 Jan. 2014.
“Symbolism” Short Stories for Students. Ed. Kathleen Wilson. Vol. 1. Detroit: Gale, 2002.
1-15. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 27 Jan. 2014.
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