James Joyce began his writing career in 1914 with a series of realistic stories published in a collection called The Dubliners. These short literary pieces are a glimpse into the ‘paralysis’ that those who lived in the turn of the century Ireland and its capital experienced at various points in life (Greenblatt, 2277). Two of the selections, “Araby” and “The Dead” are examples of Joyce’s ability to tell a story with precise details while remaining a detached third person narrator. “Araby” is centered on the main character experiencing an epiphany while “The Dead” is Joyce’s experiment with trying to remain objective. One might assume Joyce had trouble with objectivity when it concerned the setting of Ireland because Dublin would prove to be his only topic. According the editors of the Norton Anthology of Literature, “No writer has ever been more soaked in Dublin, its atmosphere, its history, its topography. He devised ways of expanding his account of the Irish capital, however, so that they became microcosms of human history, geography, and experience.” (Greenblatt, 2277) In both “Araby” and “The Dead” the climax reveals an epiphany of sorts that the main characters experience and each realize his actual position in life and its ultimate permanency.
The narrator in “Araby” is a young man who lives in an uninteresting area and dreary house in Dublin. The only seemingly exciting thing about the boy’s existence is the sister of his friend Mangum that he is hopelessly in love with; “…her name was like a summons to all my foolish blood.” (Joyce 2279) In an attempt to impress her and bring some color into his own gray life, he impulsively lies to her that he is planning on attending a bazaar called Arab. He also promises the gi...
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...realization that he leads an almost empty, emotionless life. Caught up in his own importance, he insults those he believes beneath him; he has very little appreciation for his homeland and the people and culture that make up Ireland; and what he believes to be a great love is actually nearly empty because his wife gave her heart away years before to a young man willing to die for the girl who held his heart. Sadly, Gabriel realizes at that moment that life is over in only a very short time, and he has never truly lived with passion and excitement, only with resignation and regret. The story ends with the snow falling and his determination to make a change beginning with a journey westward--to Ireland. The events from the evening have pushed Gabriel from his paralysis of possessiveness and egotism. (Greenblatt 2277) Maybe his future will free of these two evils.
“Araby”, a story told by a mystery narrator that ensnares the reader in an interesting and complex line of desires and disappointments. The story starts as the sister of the speaker's friend becomes the object of the narrators affection. He attempts to dazzle her with a gift from the Araby bazaar which is brought in to depict the idea of breaking free of the convening Dublin neighborhood. Thus through the uneasy setting and diverse range of characters, James Joyce let's the reader know that the theme of the narrative is centered around the conflict of an individual and the refusal of the reality of the world around him.
Although “Araby” is a fairly short story, author James Joyce does a remarkable job of discussing some very deep issues within it. On the surface it appears to be a story of a boy's trip to the market to get a gift for the girl he has a crush on. Yet deeper down it is about a lonely boy who makes a pilgrimage to an eastern-styled bazaar in hopes that it will somehow alleviate his miserable life. James Joyce’s uses the boy in “Araby” to expose a story of isolation and lack of control. These themes of alienation and control are ultimately linked because it will be seen that the source of the boy's emotional distance is his lack of control over his life.
The theme of light and darkness is apparent throughout Joyce's Araby. The dark, sombre setting of the story creates a sense of hopelessness within the narrator, an unnamed young boy. The negative connotations associated with the city of Dublin are used to illustrate the narrator's state of hopelessness. It is only through his illusions that he is able to catch a glimpse of light amidst the darkness.
Joyce, James. “Araby”. The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction. Eds. R.V. Cassill and Richard Bausch. Shorter Sixth Edition. New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 2000. 427 - 431.
“Araby” tells the story of a young boy who romanticizes over his friend’s older sister. He spends a lot of time admiring the girl from a distance. When the girl finally talks to him, she reveals she cannot go to the bazaar taking place that weekend, he sees it as a chance to impress her. He tells her that he is going and will buy her something. The boy becomes overwhelmed by the opportunity to perform this chivalrous act for her, surely allowing him to win the affections of the girl. The night of the bazaar, he is forced to wait for his drunken uncle to return home to give him money to go. Unfortunately, this causes the boy to arrive at the bazaar as it is closing. Of the stalls that remained open, he visited one where the owner, and English woman, “seemed to have spoken to me out of a sense of duty” (Joyce 89) and he knows he will not be able to buy anything for her. He decides to just go home, realizing he is “a creature driven and derided with vanity” (Joyce 90). He is angry with himself and embarrassed as he...
...om Joyce’s childhood. The young boy may have felt anguish, but the adult that looks back at himself sees someone who desires romance and happiness. Joyce explains “Araby” as the life of a young boy who has dreams and high expectations of the world, but instead the young boy gets a bitter taste of reality.
A collection of short stories published in 1907, Dubliners, by James Joyce, revolves around the everyday lives of ordinary citizens in Dublin, Ireland (Freidrich 166). According to Joyce himself, his intention was to "write a chapter of the moral history of [his] country and [he] chose Dublin for the scene because the city seemed to [b]e the centre of paralysis" (Friedrich 166). True to his goal, each of the fifteen stories are tales of disappointment, darkness, captivity, frustration, and flaw. The book is divided into four sections: childhood, adolescence, maturity, and public life (Levin 159). The structure of the book shows that gradually, citizens become trapped in Dublin society (Stone 140). The stories portray Joyce's feeling that Dublin is the epitome of paralysis and all of the citizens are victims (Levin 159). Although each story from Dubliners is a unique and separate depiction, they all have similarities with each other. In addition, because the first three stories -- The Sisters, An Encounter, and Araby parallel each other in many ways, they can be seen as a set in and of themselves. The purpose of this essay is to explore one particular similarity in order to prove that the childhood stories can be seen as specific section of Dubliners. By examining the characters of Father Flynn in The Sisters, Father Butler in An Encounter, and Mangan's sister in Araby, I will demonstrate that the idea of being held captive by religion is felt by the protagonist of each story. In this paper, I argue that because religion played such a significant role in the lives of the middle class, it was something that many citizens felt was suffocating and from which it was impossible to get away. Each of the three childhood stories uses religion to keep the protagonist captive. In The Sisters, Father Flynn plays an important role in making the narrator feel like a prisoner. Mr. Cotter's comment that "… a young lad [should] run about and play with young lads of his own age…" suggests that the narrator has spent a great deal of time with the priest. Even in death, the boy can not free himself from the presence of Father Flynn (Stone 169) as is illustrated in the following passage: "But the grey face still followed me. It murmured; and I understood that it desired to confess something.
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 short story “Araby” written by James Joyce tells the story of an unnamed boy who lives on North Richmond Street. The short story starts off by giving the reader a brief overview about the boy's life and other relevant background information. It is soon expressed that the boy has a very intense infatuation with his friends Mangan’s sister. The story goes on to explain his interaction with this girl which leads him to attend an event later that week. By James Joyce’s use of literary devices, the short story is able to progress and give the reader an accurate insight into this young boy's life and experiences.
In “Araby”, James Joyce details the transition of a young Irish boy into his adolescence. Looking for love and excitement, the narrator becomes obsessed with pleasing his best friend’s sister, eventually ending up at a special festival to buy her a present. Disappointed by the bad- natured shopkeepers and its closing down, he reaches a frustrating epiphany about the fine line between reality and his wistful dreams. Through the use of fanciful imagery and detached characterization, Joyce demonstrates how romance belongs to the realm of the young, not the old, and that it is doomed to fail in a word flawed by materialism and a lack of beauty.
How the Setting Reinforces the Theme and Characters in Araby. The setting in "Araby" reinforces the theme and the characters by using imagery of light and darkness. The experiences of the boy in James Joyce's The "Araby" illustrates how people often expect more than ordinary reality can. provide and then feel disillusioned and disappointed.
"Araby" is a short complex story by Joyce that I believe is a reflection of his own life as a boy growing up in Dublin. Joyce uses the voice of a young boy as a narrator; however the narrator seems much more mature then the boy in the story. The story focuses on escape and fantasy; about darkness, despair, and enlightenment: and I believe it is a retrospective of Joyce's look back at life and the constant struggle between ideals and reality.
Although he had endured trials and tribulations to attend the bazaar, he soon finds that, exotic name withstanding, he is still in Dublin, is still impoverished, and his dreams of Araby were merely that, dreams. Our narrator remains a prisoner of his environment, his economic situation, and painful reality. North Richmond Street, the dead-end street described in the first sentence of “Araby” is more than a street. It is a symbol for the way that our protagonist views his life.