In the Bible, the story of creation occurs in the garden of Eden. The book of Genesis tells the tale of Adam and Eve, whom God allowed to eat the fruit from any tree in the garden except for that of the central tree of knowledge. Unfortunately, with the serpent’s deceitful encouragement, Eve enticed Adam to eat from that banned tree. The fruit opened Adam’s eyes to the reality that he was naked (Gen. 3:7-20). Interestingly, the second paragraph of “Araby” alludes to the Genesis account of Eden. “The wild garden behind the house contained a central apple tree and a few straggling bushes.” Aside from commenting on the “eroded” isle of Ireland, Joyce uses this allusion to arrange the entire plot of the story: man trusts woman, woman tricks man, and man realizes his mistake. “Araby’s” Eve is the beloved girl who is kept nameless by Joyce, while Adam is the narrator, an adolescent boy who is infatuated with the Eve. Through an examination of the shift in emotions and thoughts of the narrator through a plot filled with trust and betrayal, the reader discovers that a person’s mind distorts reality by creating a fantasy environment. Without any control over reality and emotion, this illusionary world imprisons the thinker. In other words, one’s mind self-paralyzes.
According to the narrator, Eve’s character is an innocent and beautiful young woman. Since the story is written in first-person perspective, all commentary and descriptions in the story are those from the narrator’s perceptions. Although the only name mentioned by the narrator for her is “Mangan’s sister” (perhaps after the Irish poet), the girl is obviously the object of the narrator’s affection. The reader is int...
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...me-when our emotionally distorted world is proven false.
By the examination of the shift of emotions and thoughts of the narrator through the plot of trust and betrayal, the reader discovers that a person’s mind distorts reality by creating a fantasy environment. Without any control over reality and emotion, this illusionary world imprisons the thinker. The hero narrator, the Adam, is betrayed by woman, the Eve. Adam’s emotions had distorted his perception; Eve was his only companion, and the loss of her would have been devastating. Considering his emotions had trapped him, Adam had no option but to follow Eve. “Araby” seems to be Joyce’s comment on the Genesis story. Joyce indicates to the reader that Adam had no choice except to eat the prohibited fruit. Adam was paralyzed, similar to the narrator in “Araby” and many other characters of Dubliners.
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