Essay about `` Araby `` By James Joyce

Essay about `` Araby `` By James Joyce

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In James Joyce’s short story “Araby” he explores a boy’s initiation into reality. The Boy (who is never named) is infatuated with a girl who lives on his street. One day she mentions how she wants to go to a bazaar called “Araby” but is unable due to prior obligations. the Boy sees this as an opportunity to impress his beloved by not only going there but also buying her a treasure. The Boy is an aggrandizer meaning he views any event in his life with a magnificence beyond the capacity of the event. The underlying story in this piece is about this Boy’s realization that life is not as grand as his mind makes it out to be. Joyce writes “Araby” in such a way that we can track the Boy’s initiation into reality.
At the onset of the novella the Boy can only be described as a hopeless romantic. Joyce writes with the poetic vocabulary of a master writer to illustrate the inner workings of the protagonist’s mind. For example, when talking about playing during the winter, it is written, “the space of sky above us was the colour of ever-changing violet and towards it the lamps of the street lifted their feeble lanterns. The cold air stung us and we played till our bodies glowed.” (Joyce, 2279) Language like this reveals several points of observation to the reader. First, it reveals the dramatic and over the top views of the main character. It would have been simpler to say “we played to keep warm in the winter” and it would have been just as true of a statement, however it would have lacked the depth of emotion Joyce wants his reader to see in the Boy. Second, such romanticized expressions create a vagueness that allows the reader to become part of the story. Using ideas of colors and non-specifics like “…we played…” rather than “…my friends...


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...ke another beginning. For the boy he is now initiated into reality that things are not as grand as we make them, and from this moment on will change his views to better reflect that idea. Though he may always react with overenthusiastic thoughts a small part of him will remember the experience he had at Araby. For the reader it reminds us of that similar moment in our lives when we were initiated into reality. Though we might not remember in such explicit detail, we can at least appreciate that there must exist a point in our own lives where we made the same discovery as this Boy because of the way we think now.
Growing up and seeing the world as it is, is inevitable. There will always be a first time for every lesson that one goes through. “Araby” reminds us of one such lesson by reliving it through the eyes of this young boy. May he turn out as good as his readers.

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