Alienation of “Araby”
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 story begins as the boy describes his neighborhood. Immediately feelings of isolation and hopelessness begin to set in. The street that the boy lives on is a dead end, right from the beginning he is trapped. In addition, he feels ignored by the houses on his street. Their brown imperturbable faces make him feel excluded from the decent lives within them. The street becomes a representation of the boy’s self, uninhabited and detached, with the houses personified, and arguably more alive than the residents (Gray). Every detail of his neighborhood seems designed to inflict him with the feeling of isolation. The boy's house, like the street he lives on, is filled with decay. It is suffocating and “musty from being long enclosed.” It is difficult for him to establish any sort of connection to it. Even the history of the house feels unkind. The house's previous tenant, a priest, had died while living there. He “left all his money to institutions and the furniture of the house to his sister (Norton Anthology 2236).” It was as if he was trying to insure the boy's boredom and solitude. The only thing of interest that the boy can find is a bicycle pump, which is rusty and rendered unfit to play with. Even the “wild” garden is gloomy and desolate, containing but a lone apple tree and a few straggling bushes. It is hardly the sort of yard that a young boy would want. Like most boys, he has no voice in choosing where he lives, yet his surroundings have a powerful effect on him.
His home and neighborhood are not the only sources of the boy's animosity. The weather is also unkind to the boy. Not only is it cold, but the short days of winter make play more difficult under the “feeb...
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... is not at all that he imagined. It is dismal and dark and thrives on the profit motive and the eternal lure its name evokes in men. The boy realizes that he has placed all his love and hope in a world that does not exist except in his imagination. He feels angry and betrayed and realizes his self-deception. He feels he is “a creature driven and derided by vanity” and the vanity is his own (Sample Essays).
The story provides many sources for the boy's animosity. Beginning with his home and overall environment, and reaching all the way to the adults that surround him. However, it is clear that all of these causes of the boy's isolation have something in common, he has control over none of these factors. While many of these circumstances no one can expect to have control over, it is the culmination of all these elements that lead to the boy’s undeniable feeling of lack of control.
The Norton Anthology of English Literature. New York: W.W. Norton & Company. 2000
Classic Notes on Dubliners. Grade Saver. 2003.
Sample Essays Analyzing James Joyce's Short Story “Araby”.
Gray, Wallace. Notes for James Joyce's “Araby”. World Wide Dubliners.
Booker T. Washington believed that blacks should not push to attain equal civil and political rights with whites. That it was best to concentrate on improving their economic skills and the quality of their character. The burden of improvement resting squarely on the shoulders of the black man. Eventually they would earn the respect and love of the white man, and civil and political rights would be accrued as a matter of course. This was a very non-threatening and popular idea with a lot of whites.
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Washington 's programme naturally takes an economic cast” (Du Bois). Du Bois believed that Washington’s theory was a gospel of Work and Money that ultimately overshadowed the higher aims of life” Later he makes another statement so powerful that should have made all African Americans want to stand up and fight for a better social status and rights for both the South and North. He goes on stating “The growing spirit of kindliness and reconciliation between the North and South after the frightful differences of a generation ago ought to be a source of deep congratulation to all, and especially to those whose mistreatment caused the war; but if that reconciliation is to be marked by the industrial slavery and civic death of those same black men, with permanent legislation into a position of inferiority, then those black men, if they are really men, are called upon by every consideration of patriotism and loyalty to oppose such a course by all civilized methods, even though such opposition involves disagreement with Mr. Booker T. Washington.” (Du
James Joyce's use of religious imagery and religious symbols in "Araby" is compelling. That the story is concerned somehow with religion is obvious, but the particulars are vague, and its message becomes all the more interesting when Joyce begins to mingle romantic attraction with divine love. "Araby" is a story about both wordly love and religious devotion, and its weird mix of symbols and images details the relationship--sometimes peaceful, sometimes tumultuos--between the two. In this essay, I will examine a few key moments in the story and argue that Joyce's narrator is ultimately unable to resolve the differences between them.
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...
Later, when the boy is looking out the window of the top story of his house, he looks down and sees his friends playing in the street, and their cries reach him "weakened and indistinct." This image brings about an impression that the boy now feels "removed" from his friends and their games, because he is caught up in his fantasy. Normally, he would probably be down there playing with them, but now his head is filled with much more pressing thoughts, and they drown out the laughter and fun of his friends and their "childish" games.
In the opening scenes of the story the reader gets the impression that the boy lives in the backwash of his city. His symbolic descriptions offer more detail as to what he thinks about his street. The boy says “North Richmond Street, being blind, was a quiet street [it’s houses inhabited with] decent lives within them, gazed at one another with brown imperturbable faces” (Joyce 984). This shows that the boy feels that the street and town have become conceited and unoriginal. While to young to comprehend this at the time the matured narrator states that he now realizes this. The boy is also isolated in the story because he mentions that when the neighborhood kids go and play he finds it to be a waste of time. He feels that there are other things he could be doing that playing with the other boys. This is where the narrator starts to become aware of the fact that not everything is what is seems. He notices the minute details but cannot quite put them together yet. As the story progresses one will see that th...
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
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.
New Boy is a short film that envelops the viewer into a third person character and leads viewers to experience how it feels to be an outsider “The New Boy”, the audience experiences this feeling through the Protagonist 's mind in this case “Joseph.” This short film not only focuses on the idea of bullying but also the idea of being an outsider.The positioning of the title “New Boy” on the left-hand side of the frame indicates that the new boy will be powerless.
Here are some figures that display how Employee engagement practices have bolstered up the efficiency and productivity of the employees and in return have augmented the profits of the companies. According to a new meta-analysis that was conducted by the Gallup organisation amongst 1.4 million employees, the organisations that focus on employee engagement practices to a large extent have reported 22% increase in productivity. These practices even impr...
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In the story “Araby”, by James Joyce the narrator talks about life on North Richmond Street. The narrator lives with his aunt and uncle in an apartment that a former priest, who had died, had lived in. The priest left behind many books and the boy would often go and read them. The boy (narrator) became friends with a boy named Mangan, and develops a crush on his sister. He watches her almost every day. “Every morning I lay on the floor in the front parlor watching her door.” (Page 1137) He had never spoken to this girl until one day she approached him. She asked him if he is going to the Araby. She explains to the boy how she cannot go and he assures her that he will go and bring her back something. However through a series of events the boy is late to the bazaar and realizes his pocket change falls short. The boy in James Joyce’s “Araby” learns that life throws us curves, day dreams are much more pleasant than harsh reality, and he forever will remain a prisoner of his modest means and his city.
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