about a somewhat introverted boy fumbling toward adulthood with little
in the way of guidance from family or community. The truants in An
A young boy who is similar in age and temperament to those in “The
Sisters” and “An Encounter” develops a crush on Mangan’s sister, a
girl who lives across the street. One evening she asks him if he plans
to go to a bazaar (a fair organized, probably by a church, to raise
money for charity) called Araby. The girl will be away on a retreat
when the bazaar is held and therefore unable to attend. The boy
promises that if he goes he will bring her something from Araby.
The boy requests and receives permission to attend the bazaar on
Saturday night. When Saturday night comes, however, his uncle returns
home late, possibly having visited a pub after work. After much
anguished waiting, the boy receives money for the bazaar, but by the
time he arrives at Araby, it is too late. The event is shutting down
for the night, and he does not have enough money to buy something nice
for Mangan’s sister anyway. The boy cries in frustration.
Like the two previous stories, “The Sisters” and “An Encounter,”
“Araby” is about a somewhat introverted boy fumbling toward adulthood
with little in the way of guidance from family or community. The
truants in “An Encounter” managed to play hooky from school without
any major consequences; no one prevented them from journeying across
town on a weekday or even asked the boys where they were going.
Similarly, the young protagonist of this story leaves his house after
nine o’clock at night, when “people are in bed and after their first
sleep,” and travels thr...
... middle of paper ...
... anger.” The
eyes of Joyce’s readers burn, too, as they read this.
One final point: Though all are written from the first-person
point-of-view, or perspective, in none of the first three stories in
Dubliners is the young protagonist himself telling the story, exactly.
It is instead the grown-up version of each boy who recounts “The
Sisters,” “An Encounter,” and “Araby.” This is shown by the language
used and the insights included in these stories. A young boy would
never have the wisdom or the vocabulary to say “I saw myself as a
creature driven and derided by vanity.” The man that the boy grew
into, however, is fully capable of recognizing and expressing such a
sentiment. Joyce’s point-of-view strategy thereby allows the reader to
examine the feelings of his young protagonists while experiencing
those feelings in all their immediate, overwhelming pain.
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