At the beginning of the story the narrator describes his neighborhood as “being blind,” populated by rows of houses that “gazed at one another with brown imperturbable faces.” His description of “a quiet street except at the hour when the Christian Brothers' School set the boys free,” immediately suggests the sense of tedium and imprisonment. Through the use of religious imagery, Catholic tradition surrounds every aspect of the narrator’s life. It can be found from his tedious hours spent in class to his leisure time at home, where Joyce emphasizes the impact of Catholicism in the narrator’s daily affairs. The previous tenant of his family home was a p...
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...ts and see a world beyond his own, only to be punished for his desire. As Eve led Adam astray, so did the narrator’s love for Mangan’s sister.
It is this folly of youthful pride which ultimately overcomes the narrator, who cannot see past the wound to accept his disappointment. In the end, the religious framework of his upbringing betrays him, restrained by the rigors of these traditions. Joyce uses Catholic symbolism to belie the narrator’s coming of age, turning devotional language and imagery into a source of discontent. In this way Joyce uses the church as a form of imprisonment, a system of traditions that reinforce the anonymous toil of Dublin life, and leave the narrator without chance for escape.
Joyce, James. “Dubliners: Araby.” Gutenburg.org. November 5th, 2012. Web. January 19th. < http://www.gutenberg.org/files/2814/2814-h/2814-h.htm>.
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