The Theme Of Epiphany In James Joyce's Araby

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Written in 1914, James Joyce’s “Araby” is the tragic tale of a young boy’s first hopeless infatuation with a neighborhood girl. The young boy lives in a dark and unforgiving world. In James Joyce’s “Araby” a young boy living in a dark and grave world develops an obsessive adoration with an older girl who lives in his neighborhood and his devotion towards her ultimately forces him to make a promise to her he is incapable of keeping, resulting in a life changing epiphany. In life, we are forced to face darkness, both physical and spiritual, similar as the young boy in “Araby” does. The overall atmosphere in the story is dark and dreary, with a setting that takes place when the beginning of winter blankets the town: “When the short days of winter came…” (Joyce). Winter is often associated with gloom and depression, and the setting taking place at the start of wintertime indicates the dismal world which the boy lives in. According to the narrator, the unnamed boy lives on the “blind” or dead-end North Richmond Street. (Joyce).…show more content…
Despite living in a depressing world, the young boy seems unaware of the oppressive darkness because he focuses his attention on Mangan’s older sister, unable and unwilling to think about anything else. He obsesses over her, watching and following her to school every morning, unable to think of anything else, eventually making a promise he is incapable of keeping. At the end of the story the young naïve boy has a great, life changing epiphany when he failed in his quest to purchase Mangan’s older sister, the target in his crosshairs of love a gift from the bazaar she was unable to attend; he is not as great as he has foolishly envisioned himself to

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