Essay on `` Araby `` By James Joyce

Essay on `` Araby `` By James Joyce

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The short story “Araby” by James Joyce is a story about initiation from the perspective of a young boy into adulthood. The story is narrated by a man who is revisiting an experience he had as a young boy when he realized that not everything in life was carefree. When a special girl entered into the young man’s life, he had a rude awakening to the realty of adulthood. The minor characters in the play played a very important role in the young man becoming aware of what it means to become an adult and to become responsible. The story shows the young boy and his initiation into adulthood when he sees how different and harsh adults can be in comparison to a kid’s personality when he observes his self-centered uncle who says one thing and then does the opposite. The young boy learns the hardest lesson on becoming an adult when he falls for a pretty girl who lives in his neighborhood, and his short-lived love ends in letdown. Joyce uses this first example of heartbreak for the young boy as a metaphor for disillusionment with life. From the very beginning of the story, the boy misleads himself about the girl next door and the signs he believes he sees when he is trying to get her attention. Once he arrives to Araby, the flea market in town, Joyce parallels the boy’s own self-delusion from being in love to the vanity and vain obsessions in the world of adults.
From the very beginning of the story, the boy is basically obsessed with a girl who lives next door to him. His newfound crush draws him into adulthood from childhood because he is trying to romance the girl. He breaks the friendships he has because he is only able to focus on the girl he believes he loves and obsesses over her: “I kept her brown figure always in my eye and, when...


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... life as an adult, his world seems to come crashing down and end at the very last lines of the story when he cries: “Gazing up into the darkness I saw myself as a creature driven and derided by vanity; and my eyes burned with anguish and anger” (2282). He finally makes the connection that he was playing the game of being an adult and that he has some of the same characteristics that he absolutely despises in his uncle’s personality. Before he becomes aware of who he is and transitioning into adult life, he thought that everything he did was pure and from the heart, but now after his initiation towards adulthood, he realizes that everything he did for that girl and everything he went through to try to make her happy has been in vain because the flirtation and honesty and pure love do not exist for adults, which is a hard reality for him to finally come to terms with.

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