Essay PreviewMore ↓
James Joyce's "Araby" may seem at first glance to be only a story about a young boy's first love. However, there is an underlying theme of his effort to escape an inimical reality by transforming a neighbor girl into something larger than life, a spot of light in an otherwise dark and somber environment.
Joyce's description of North Richmond Street evokes images of a vacuous, joyless, and stagnant environment. The house in which the young boy lives seems equally cold and gray. The narrator's description depicts a close and stifling environment: "Air, musty from having long been enclosed, hung in all the rooms, and the waste room behind the kitchen was littered with old and useless papers." (38) Another passage speaks of, "The high cold empty gloomy rooms" in the upper part of the house, and evokes a picture of a gloomy and repressed existence.
The protagonist detaches himself from this ugly atmosphere leached of vitality with dreams of Mangan's sister. In contrast to his dark surroundings, he sees her as a something bright in his life, as evidenced by his description of "her figure defined by the light from the half-opened door". (38) Later, as he talks with her at the railings, the narrator relates: "The light from the lamp opposite our door caught the white curve of her neck, lit up her hair that rested there and, falling, lit up the hand upon the railing." (39) His preoccupation with first love is consuming and serves as an escape from the harsh, dirty truths of his existence.
On a rainy evening, the object of his fascination spoke to the boy as he stood, hands clasped, and murmured, "Oh love! Oh love!" (39) Her address must seem almost miraculous to him. When she mentions how much she would love to go to Araby, his promise to bring her something from the bazaar seems to imply his feeling that this might somehow bring about a reciprocation of his love. His anticipation of the trip "cast an Eastern enchantment" over him as he looks forward to his trip to what his love describes as a "splendid bazaar" (39), which sets him up for the disappointment that lies ahead.
The boy's final disappointment begins with his uncle's drunken preoccupation with his own agenda, which causes him to forget about the promised trip to the bazaar and come home late.
How to Cite this Page
"James Joyce's Dubliners - Analysis of Joyce's Araby." 123HelpMe.com. 14 Nov 2018
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- An Analysis of James Joyce's Araby James Joyce's "Araby" may seem at first glance to be only a story about a young boy's first love. However, there is an underlying theme of his effort to escape an inimical reality by transforming a neighbor girl into something larger than life, a spot of light in an otherwise dark and somber environment. Joyce's description of North Richmond Street evokes images of a vacuous, joyless, and stagnant environment. The house in which the young boy lives seems equally cold and gray.... [tags: Joyce Dubliners Araby Essays]
754 words (2.2 pages)
- Obsession in Araby In James Joyce’s short story "Araby," the main character is a young boy who confuses obsession with love. This boy thinks he is in love with a young girl, but all of his thoughts, ideas, and actions show that he is merely obsessed. Throughout this short story, there are many examples that show the boy’s obsession for the girl. There is also evidence that shows the boy does not really understand love or all of the feelings that go along with it. When the boy first describes the girl, you can see his obsession for her.... [tags: Joyce Dubliners Araby Essays]
1104 words (3.2 pages)
- An Analysis of Araby There are many statements in the story "Araby" that are both surprising and puzzling. The statement that perhaps gives us the most insight into the narrator's thoughts and feelings is found at the end of the story. "Gazing up into the darkness I saw myself as a creature driven and derided by vanity; and my eyes burned with anguish and anger. (32)" By breaking this statement into small pieces and key words, we can see it as a summation of the story's major themes.... [tags: Joyce Dubliners Araby Essays]
609 words (1.7 pages)
- Adolescent Initiation Portrayed in Araby "Araby" tells the story of an adolescent boy's initiation into adulthood. The story is narrated by a mature man reflecting upon his adolescence and the events that forced him to face the disillusioning realities of adulthood. The minor characters play a pivotal role in this initiation process. The boy observes the hypocrisy of adults in the priest and Mrs. Mercer; and his vain, self-centered uncle introduces him to another disillusioning aspect of adulthood.... [tags: Joyce Dubliners Araby Essays]
1147 words (3.3 pages)
- James Joyce's Dubliners - Araby as Epiphany for the Common Man Joseph Campbell was one of many theorists who have seen basic common denominators in the myths of the world's great religions, Christianity among them, and have demonstrated how elements of myth have found their way into "non-religious" stories. Action heroes, in this respect, are not unlike saints. Biblical stories are, quite simply, the mythos of the Catholic religion, with saints being the heroes in such stories. The Star Wars film saga is, according to Campbell, an example of the hero's maturation via the undertaking of a great quest.... [tags: Joyce Dubliners Araby Essays]
2076 words (5.9 pages)
- James Joyce's Dubliners - The Symbol of the Church in Araby Joyce's short story "Araby" is filled with symbolic images of a church. It opens and closes with strong symbols, and in the body of the story, the images are shaped by the young), Irish narrator's impressions of the effect the Church of Ireland has upon the people of Ire-land. The boy is fiercely determined to invest in someone within this Church the holiness he feels should be the natural state of all within it, but a succession of experiences forces him to see that his determination is in vain.... [tags: Joyce Dubliners Araby Essays]
1200 words (3.4 pages)
- Setting in James Joyce's Araby In the opening paragraphs of James Joyce's short story, "Araby," the setting takes center stage to the narrator. Joyce tends carefully to the exquisite detail of personifying his setting, so that the narrator's emotions may be enhanced. To create a genuine sense of mood, and reality, Joyce uses many techniques such as first person narration, style of prose, imagery, and most of all setting. The setting of a short story is vital to the development of character.... [tags: Joyce Dubliners Araby Essays]
1591 words (4.5 pages)
- An Analysis of Joyce's Araby "Araby" is a short complex story by Joyce that I believe is a reflection of his own life as a boy growing up in Dublin. Joyce uses the voice of a young boy as a narrator; however the narrator seems much more mature then the boy in the story. The story focuses on escape and fantasy; about darkness, despair, and enlightenment: and I believe it is a retrospective of Joyce's look back at life and the constant struggle between ideals and reality. I believe Araby employs many themes; the two most apparent to me are escape and fantasy though I see signs of religion and a boy's first love.... [tags: Joyce Dubliners Araby Essays]
528 words (1.5 pages)
- Character, Structure and Style in Araby According to Hazel Edwards, “A good story writer needs to be a craftsman, for the construction is tighter than that required for most novels. Usually a short story concentrates on a few characters- rarely more than three major ones. The story revolves around a single, dramatic incident which typifies the characters’ reactions. Length varies from 1,000 to about 5,000 words.” With these characteristics in mind, then we are going to examine James Joyce’s short story Araby in terms of depiction of character, the story structure and the style.... [tags: Joyce Dubliners Araby Essays]
2408 words (6.9 pages)
- The Lonely Quest in "Araby" Universality of experience makes James Joyce's "Araby" interesting, readers respond instinctively to an experience that could have been their own. It is part of the instinctual nature of man to long for what he feels is the lost spirituality of his world. In all ages man has believed that it is possible to search for and find a talisman, which, if brought back, will return this lost spirituality. The development of theme in "Araby" resembles the myth of the quest for a holy talisman.... [tags: Joyce Dubliners Araby Essays]
1298 words (3.7 pages)
It is in this timid state that he encounters a young lady who is tending one of the stalls and flirting with two young men. Perhaps she is dismissive of the boy because of his youth or perhaps because he interrupted her flirtation. For whatever reason, he remarks that, "The tone of her voice was not encouraging; she seemed to have spoken to me out of a sense of duty". (41) This is an epiphany for the boy as he realizes that his dreams of love are fantasy and he awakens to the reality of the world around him. He remarks that, "I lingered before her stall, though I knew my stay was useless", and perhaps this is a metaphor for his newfound knowledge that his feelings for Mangan's sister were useless as well. When he looks up to see the upper part of the hall is completely dark, this seems to confirm his sudden awareness that his dreams of love have blinded him to the dark reality of his life. This realization marks a passage from a time of childhood dreams and bright fantasy to one of greater maturity, a time when his life reflects its true colors.