Critical Analysis Of Epiphany In Araby By James Joyce

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Araby – James Joyce – Critical Analysis - Revision
The visual and emblematic details established throughout the story are highly concentrated, with Araby culminating, largely, in the epiphany of the young unnamed narrator. To Joyce, an epiphany occurs at the instant when the essence of a character is revealed, when all the forces that endure and influence his life converge, and when we can, in that moment, comprehend and appreciate him. As follows, Araby is a story of an epiphany that is centered on a principal deception or failure, a fundamental imperfection that results in an ultimate realization of life, spirit, and disillusionment. The significance is exposed in the boy’s intellectual and emotional journey from first love to first dejection, …show more content…

The boy is haplessly subject to the city’s dark, despondent conformity, and his tragic thirst for the unusual in the face of a monotonous, disagreeable reality, forms the heart of the story. The narrator’s ultimate disappointment occurs as a result of his awakening to the world around him and his eventual recognition and awareness of his own existence within that miserable setting. The gaudy superficiality of the bazaar, which in the boy’s mind had been an “oriental enchantment,” shreds away his protective blindness and leaves him alone with the realization that life and love contrast sharply from his dream (Joyce). Just as the bazaar is dark and empty, flourishing through the same profit motivation of the market place, love is represented as an empty, fleeting illusion. Similarly, the nameless narrator can no longer view his world passively, incapable of continually ignoring the hypocrisy and pretension of his neighborhood. No longer can the boy overlook the surrounding prejudice, dramatized by his aunt’s hopes that Araby, the bazaar he visited, is not “some Freemason affair,” and by the satirical and ironic gossiping of Mrs. Mercer while collecting stamps for “some pious purpose” (Joyce). The house, in the same fashion as the aunt, the uncle, and the entire neighborhood, reflects people …show more content…

He has grown up in the backwash of a dying city and has developed into an individual sensitive to the fact that his town’s vivacity has receded, leaving the faintest echoes of romance, a residue of empty piety, and symbolic memories of an active concern for God and mankind that no longer exists. Although the young boy cannot fully comprehend it intellectually, he feels that his surroundings have become malformed and ostentatious. He is at first as blind as his surroundings, but Joyce prepares us for his eventual perceptive awakening by mitigating his carelessness with an unconscious rejection of the spiritual stagnation of his community. Upon hitting Araby, the boy realizes that he has placed all his love and hope in a world that does not exist outside of his imagination. He feels angry and betrayed and comes to realize his self-deception, describing himself as “a creature driven and derided by vanity”, a vanity all his own (Joyce). This, inherently, represents the archetypal Joycean epiphany, a small but definitive moment after which life is never quite the same. This epiphany, in which the boy lives a dream in spite of the disagreeable and the material, is brought to its inevitable conclusion, with the single sensation of life disintegrating. At the moment of his realization, the narrator finds that he is able to better understand his particular circumstance, but, unfortunately, this

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes the visual and emblematic details established throughout the story, with araby culminating, largely, in the epiphany of the young unnamed narrator.
  • Analyzes how north richmond street represents an idyllic ignorance of the wider world.
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