Essay on Araby, by James Joyce

Who is the speaker of araby.

The young speaker is infatuated with his friend’s sister. He believes that if he brings her a gift from the bazaar than she will love him back. The speaker’s time at the bazaar is nothing like he thought it would be. It is a horrible experience and he fails to buy a gift for his crush. The speaker says “Gazing up into the darkness I saw myself as a creature driven and derided by vanity; and my eyes burned with anguish and anger.” He realizes that he wasn’t actually in love with his friend’s sister. His desire for her was only a vain wish for something new and different. She would never live up to his expectations. The speaker’s dreams about romance are shattered when he faces the reality of

Imagery in James Joyce "Araby"

In "Araby" by James Joyce, the narrator uses vivid imagery in order to express feelings and situations. The story evolves around a boy's adoration of a girl he refers to as "Mangan's sister" and his promise to her that he shall buy her a present if he goes to the Araby bazaar. Joyce uses visual images of darkness and light as well as the exotic in order to suggest how the boy narrator attempts to achieve the inaccessible. Accordingly, Joyce is expressing the theme of the boys exaggerated desire through the images which are exotic. The theme of "Araby" is a boy's desire to what he cannot achieve.

Comparing Araby 'And The Lesson' By Toni Cade Bambara

The narrator is deeply infatuated with Mangan’s sister and she is always on his mind. He states, “Her name sprang to my lips at moments in strange prayers and praises which I myself did not understand. My eyes were often full of tears (I could not tell why) and at times a flood from my heart seemed to pour itself out into my bosom.” (Joyce 2). The quote talks about the narrator’s smitten feelings for a girl only referred to as Mangan’s sister. It is evident that she is always on his mind and she naturally flows through his mind unconsciously. He is also very grief-stricken at times, which surprises him. The fact that Mangan’s sister does not have a name clearly reveals that the narrator is in love with what she represents, physical beauty. This is something rather mutual for any adolescent boy experiencing sexual beauty for the first time. He is stuck in his own little world of infatuation where she is always present and he also feels sad as he cannot convey his feelings of love. Also, after the narrator decided that he will bring something for Mangan’s sister as a gift from the bazaar, Araby, he is overcome with joy. He states, “What innumerable follies laid waste my waking and sleeping thoughts after that evening! I wished to annihilate the tedious intervening days. I chafed against the work of school.” (Joyce 2). The quote

Araby By James Joyce 's Araby

James Joyce’s “Araby” is a short story narrated by an adolescent boy who falls in love with a nameless girl on North Richmond Street. Every day this boy watches her “brown figure,” which is “always in [his] eyes,” and chases after it (27). According to the boy, “lher image accompanie[s] [him] even in places the most hostile to romance” (27). He thinks of her bodily figure often, invokes her name “in strange prayers and praises”, and emits “flood[like]” tears at the mere thought of her (27). The boy exhibits all this emotion, despite the fact that he “had never spoken to her, except for a few casual words"(27). Therefore, when he finally has a conversation with her, about a Dublin bazaar called Araby, it causes him to become disoriented. The boy fails to concentrate at his Christian Brother School and at home, because Mangan’s sister finally talks to him. The boy, determined to get something for his lover at the bazaar she cannot attend, asks his uncle for money. However, to his distress, his uncle forgets and the boy is unable to attend the bazaar until “it [is] ten minutes to ten” (31). This delay and the long journey by train causes the boy to become irritated. His irritation soon turns to anger as he enters the bazaar only to find it practically empty except for two men with “English accents” and a female engaged in a conversation (32). At this point, the boy loses interest in buying anything at the bazaar for his lover and decides to feign interest to appease the

Essay On Araby

James Joyce’s short story Araby delves into the life of a young adolescent who lives on North Richmond Street in Dublin, Ireland. Narrated in the boys’ perspective, he recounts memories of playing with friends and of the priest who died in the house before his family moved in. With unrestrained enthusiasm, the boy expresses a confused infatuation with the sister of his friend Mangan. She constantly roams his thoughts and fantasies although he only ever catches glimpses of her. One evening she speaks to him, confiding that she is unable to visit Araby, a bazaar. Stunned by the sudden conversation, the boy promises he will go and bring her back a small memento. In anticipation, the boy launches into a period of restless waiting and distraction

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The narrator is in love with the way she looks as the narrator describes “the soft rope of her hair tossed from side to side” The way the narrator describes the softness of her hair and the shyness of watching her from afar shows that the narrator thinks of her more than he speaks to her.

James Joyce's Araby - Loss of Innocence in Araby Essay

In her story, "Araby," James Joyce concentrates on character rather than on plot to reveal the ironies inherent in self-deception. On one level "Araby" is a story of initiation, of a boy’s quest for the ideal. The quest ends in failure but results in an inner awareness and a first step into manhood. On another level the story consists of a grown man's remembered experience, for the story is told in retrospect by a man who looks back to a particular moment of intense meaning and insight. As such, the boy's experience is not restricted to youth's encounter with first love. Rather, it is a portrayal of a continuing problem all through life: the incompatibility of the ideal, of the dream

James Joyce - Araby Essay

Many times in life, people set unrealistic expectations for themselves or for other people. This is not a very wise thing to do because people often feel disappointed and embarrassed for getting their hopes up so high. One good example of this is the narrator in the short story “Araby” by James Joyce. In his brief but complex story James Joyce concentrates on character rather than on plot to reveal the ironies within self-deception.

Being Covered from the Truth in Araby by James Joyce Essay

The boy also hid his inner self from the truth, like the house, because of his own lust for Mangan’s sister. He, being a boy, did not understand what love was, yet pursued it trying to gain inner happiness. “Each morning” he would lie “on the floor in the front parlour watching her door. The blind was pulled down to within an inch of the sash so that I could not be seen. When she came out on the doorstep my heart leaped” (para. 4). He lusts after her thinking that is was pure love.

Emotional Devices And Diction In Araby By James Joyce

“Araby,” is a story of emotional passion carefully articulated by the author, James Joyce, to mark the end of childhood and the start of adolescence. It is told from the perspective of a young boy who is filled with lust for his friend, Mangan’s, sister. He lives in a cheerless town on a street hosting simply complacent families who own brown faced houses that stare vacantly into one another. The boy temporarily detaches himself from this gloomy atmosphere and dwells on the keeper of his affection. Only when he journeys to a festival titled Araby, does he realize that his attempt at winning the heart of Mangan’s sister has been done in an act of vanity. Joyce takes advantage of literary elements such as diction and imagery to convey an at times dreary and foolishly optimistic tone.

How Does James Joyce Tell The Story Araby

I think James Joyce chose to tell this particular story is because the story “Araby” is a very short and compact story centering on an Irish adolescent emerging from boyhood fantasies into the harsh realities of everyday life in his country. “Araby” is a famous story and is one of fifteen pieces in Joyce’s first major work, a collection of short stories called Dubliners, and while there is little external “action” in any of these stories, each story is rich in “moments of intensity” that reveal the moral, social, or spiritual complexity of human nature.

James Joyce Araby's Life

James Joyce tells the story of a boy revealing the bleak reality of life in Araby. In the short story, a young boy is seen chasing after a false pretense of love hopelessly. He admires a young girl who lives across the street, Mangan’s sister, and catches himself daydreaming about her at every possible hour. He becomes blinded by his pursuit of her and obsesses over getting her attention. When she finally speaks to him, she asks if he is going to Araby, a bazaar, and explains that she will not be able to due to a prior engagement with her church. He promises to buy her something if he is able to go and spends the rest of the week anticipating it. After patiently waiting all day, he finally arrives, only to be turned away by closed stands and

Alienation of "Araby" Essay

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.

Essay on James Joyce's Araby - 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. At the climax of the story, when he realizes that his dreams of holiness and love are inconsistent with the actual world, his anger and anguish are directed, not toward the Church,

Essay on James Joyce's Araby - Araby as Epiphany for the Common Man

Armed with a florin held "tightly in his hand", the boy embarks on his "journey" to the bazaar, his self-assigned mission being to purchase a gift for his beloved. The gift is to be a gestured to liberate Mangan's sister--in spirit if not in body--because she will be with a retreat that week at her convent. The journey for him becomes a passage from relative safety and gregariousness into a place of darkness and isolation. It is only there that he comes to a realization--an epiphany.

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Araby - James Joyce

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One of the most intriguing works by Irish writer James Joyce is “Araby” in which a young boy, who is the narrator, leads a carefree life in a Dublin neighborhood before falling in love with his friend’s sister. He is always watching her steps, every single morning. When they finally speak, the girl mentions the existence of an exotic bazaar in town, named “Araby”. The narrator then becomes obssessed with the idea of going to the bazaar to bring the girl a present.

Nevertheless, disappointment is an important theme of the novel. The young boy is ultimately faced with reality when he goes to Araby and realizes that he cannot afford the things that are sold there. In others words, Joyce deals with the dichotomy of fantasy versus reality in “Araby”, giving it a rather pessimistic approach, where reality and its negativity prevail. In order to better comprehend Joyce’s “Araby”, it is important to understand the author’s biography and the time in history in which “Dubliners” was written.


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Joyce was born in a poor family in February of 1884. His father had several jobs and his mother was a devout Catholic. A young Joyce eventually moved to Paris, where he worked as a teacher and journalist, and later, during World War I, he took refuge in Zurich, Switzerland. Since Joyce spent great part of his adult life outside of Ireland, “Dubliners” is written through the eyes of a “refugee”, as a member of Dublin’s society who is also an outsider.

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Through “Dubliners” and its short stories, including “Araby”, Joyce describes life in Dublin, how religion influenced and dominated Irish society and how a national identity came to be. At that time, Ireland, a country that had suffered the horrors of the Great Famine in the past along with the death and emigration of millions of its people was now struggling culturally and politically to create its own identity and breakaway from British political control and cultural influence. The conflict between Catholics and Protestants was at its peak, as the entire island was under United Kingdom’s rule.

In other words, Ireland and its society were going through a turbulent period in history, which affected Joyce’s use of language in “Dubliners” as well as the themes cointained in his works, such as religion, the hardships of reality and Anglo-Irish relations. “Dubliners” is a unique compilation of stories because it follows a chronological pattern. “Araby” falls in the category of “childhood”, because its narrator is a young boy and also due to the fact that one of its central themes is growth and maturity.

In order for such growth to take place, “Araby” follows a clear sequence of events, which is described by William York Tindall in “A Reader’s Guide to James Joyce” as “illusion, disillusionment and coming to awareness” (19). These three elements that result in the character’s growth are well defined in the story. Mangan’s sister and the bazaar both represent illusion. Disillusionment is present when the narrator goes to “Araby” and realizes that it is not what he had expected.

Finally, disillusionment is shown in the end, when he comes to the conclusion that he is not able to buy Mangan’s sister a gift, which in turn, leads to the final moment of epiphany, a concept that will be further discussed. Another essential aspect to “Araby” is the presence of images and symbols throughout the story, in particular those with religious conotations. Since religion and the church played an important role in Irish society and Joyce was Irish himself, religious themes are abundant in some of Joyce’s works, “Araby” being one of them.

Religious imagery is present in the very beginning of the story, when the narrator mentions that the former tenant of the house where he lives was a priest. The house itself also contains religious symbol, in this case, in the garden: ” The wild garden behind the house contained a central apple-tree and a few struggling bushes under one of which I found the late tenant’s rusty bicycle-pump” (373). It is evident that the apple-tree in the story evokes images of the Adam and Eve passage in the Bible, where they were tempted to eat the “forbidden fruit” which was an apple.

Mangan’s sister, the “object” of the narrator’ affection, is perhaps the most significant religious symbol in the story. The narrator is devoted to her much like a religious person is devoted to God or a Saint. The connection between Mangan’s sister and religious worship is shown in the passage where the narrator goes marketing with his aunt, while passing through the crowded and disorganized streets: I imagined that I bore my chalice safely through the throng of foes.

Her [Mangan’s sister] name sprang to my lips at moments in strange prayers and praises which I myself did not understand My eyes were often full of tears (I could not tell why) and at times a flood from my heart seemed to pour itself out into my bosom (179). The narrator’s feelings to Mangan’s sister are so intense to the point of being compared to a religious experience. When he mentions Mangan’s sister name in “strange prayers” he is describing the powerful effect that she has on him, like the power of a prayer to a religious person.

To the narrator, her name in the strange prayers has the same force as the name of Jesus or Mary in a traditional Catholic prayer. Cleanth Brooks, Jr. and Robert Penn Warren reinforce the link between the narrator’s desire and religion in their work, titled “The Chalice Bearer” by affirming that “(… ) when he [the narrator] speaks of his confused adoration, we see that the love of the girls takes on, for him, something of the nature of a mystic, religious experience. The use of the very word confused hints of the fact that romantic love and religious love are mixed up in his mind” (95).

The narrator, thus, is yet to discover reality. He is still trapped in a world of illusion where the lines of pure, religious love and physical desire are somewhat blurred. The bazaar, called Araby, furthers the narrator into illusionment. The name of the bazaar evokes images of a far and exotic place: “The syllables of the word Araby were called to me through the silence in which my soul luxuriated and cast an Eastern enchantment over me” (375). It can be argued that the bazaar also represents a religious symbol in the story.

Such view is supported by William York Tindall: “The Church, after all, is a more or less Oriental foundation, and the ecclesiastical suggestion of Araby (“not some Freemason affair”) is supported by metaphor” (20). In other words, Araby can be regarded as a religious institution that takes over the life of the narrator. His anticipation of the visit to the bazaar becomes a focal point of his life, interfering with his everyday activities: “I answered few questions in class. I watched my master’s face pass from amiability to sternness… I could not call my wandering thoughts together” (375).

The story ends with dissapointment and frustration when the boy arrives at the bazaar and realizes that most mof the stalls are closed, and even if they were open, he would not be able to buy Mangan’s sister a gift. The narrator finally understands that life is harsh. In other words, “Araby” presents a moment of epiphany. Nevertheless, Joyce goes against the traditional concept of epiphany in “Araby. ” Epiphany is usually associated with enlightment and positive growth whereas in “Araby” epiphany is linked with negativity.

Such idea is supported by Florence L. Walzl in “A Companion to Joyces’ Studies. She argues that: ” His [the narrator] inability to buy even a trinket for the girl and his perception of the inanity of the flirtation he has just witnessed climax in an epiphanic vison, not of light, but of darkness” (175). With such statement, Walzl acknowledges that the pattern of “illusion, disillutionment and coming to awareness” in the story comes “full circle”. Instead of enlightment, the narrator’s epiphany causes him to become bitter: ” Gazing up into the darkness I saw myself as a creature driven and derided by vanity; and my eyes burned with anguish and anger” (377).

Since religious symbols are a constant presence in the story, it has been argued that the narrator’s disappointment is, in reality, disappointment with the Church and the values that it represents. This position is shared by Florence Walzl in her conclusion of her analysis: At the narrative level, “Araby” manifests disillusionment in young love; at a symbolic level, it represents disillusionment in the theological virtue of charity. Faith, hope and love are diminished in this first triad of tales of childhood (176). In conclusion, “Araby” is a story of a young love.

As such, it presents moments of illusion throughout most of the story. However, illusion is shattered by the narrator’s dark epiphany. A closer analysis of “Araby” reveals that there is more to the story than a young boy’s first love. The abundance of religious imagery shows the readers that the story is very much about criticism of the Church’s role in the lives of the Irish people and its effect on a nation that was struggling politically to be free from the United Kingdom’s influence and ideologically, with the animosity between Catholics and Protestants.

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Araby - James Joyce

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Analysis of “Araby” by James Joyce Essay

Araby, by James Joyce, is the story of a young boy from a humble background, experiencing the first flush of love. When the object of her affection, “Mangan’s sister” expresses her desire to go to Araby , and her inability to go there, he gallantly offers to get something for her. His feelings for “Mangan’s sister” and his desire to go to Araby for her sake form the core of the story. The opening paragraphs tell us about the narrator’s background as it paints a dark and dreary picture of his neighborhood. The reference to the fact that the priest who lived in the house before them had left the furniture of the house to his sister, suggests that the family could have used the furniture had it been available. There are several other references to the humble background of the narrator as he talks about the neighborhood in which he played which had ‘dark dripping gardens” and “odors arose from ashpits”. From here the narrative moves on to the narrator’s infatuation with “Mangan’s sister”. The narrator and his friends are young boys who still find enjoyment in playing around in the dirt and filth of the neighborhood and the harsh realities of life have still not touched them. But obviously, they are growing up and becoming aware of their surroundings as well as their sexuality. “Mangan’s sister” is probably the only girl with whom he had ever exchanged “a few casual words”. So, as the narrator is outgrowing his boyhood and entering his adolescence, it is natural that his first crush would be on the only girl who has as yet entered his consciousness. His various emotions and actions, like following her at a distance to imagining her in the weirdest of places, only further intensify his infatuation as he is unable to express his feelings. The boyishness of his emotions is betrayed when he resorts to prayer to get her to talk to him. Mangan’s sister’s first interaction with the narrator introduces us to the bazaar called Araby . When she expresses her strong desire to go to the bazaar and her inability to go there, the narrator takes it upon himself to go there and buy a gift for her. The focus of the story now shifts to the narrator’s obsession with going to Araby . Here once again we see the boyishness of the narrator’s character. Until now we had seen his obsession with Mangan’s sister and how he could only think of her. But now this obsession and focus shift to Araby . This boyishness of the narrator must be noted since as the story progresses we see him getting disillusioned. After the narrator had carefully planned his evening out to Araby, the delay in his uncle’s return from work temporarily brings uncertainty to his plans. However, his aunt allows him to go alone to Araby, even at the late hour. Until now, the narrator had a very exotic impression of Araby. The fact that his uncle is reminded of the poem “ The Arab Farewell to his Steed” when the narrator mentions Araby , suggests that he thought that the bazaar was an Arab bazaar. Even the word “bazaar” is an Arab word and even the reader is misled into thinking that Araby is some kind of exotic marketplace. However, when he reaches the bazaar, he is disillusioned by what he sees. It is just an ordinary bazaar and a very expensive one at that. He has to pay a shilling just to get in and with what remains, he realizes that he cannot afford anything for Magnan’s sister. Thus the climax turns out to be an anti-climax, as the narrator’s dreams are blown away and he is reminded of his humble background. This short story is told in the first person, entirely from the narrator’s point-of-view, hence we have a very limited understanding of the proceedings. A large part of the story is devoted to the narrator’s fantasies, first with “Magnan’s sister” and later with Araby . The narrative turns out to be a journey of self-discovery, as the young boy, probably for the first time, comes face to face with his financial standing and realizes the vanity of love. Even though the narrator has to go to Araby to realize his financial realities, he was all along aware of it at some level. His preference for the book with “yellow leaves” and finding the “rusty bicycle-pump”, all point to his subconscious awareness of his family’s financial condition. Also, he does not have big dreams, his biggest wish is getting the love of his friend’s sister. He hopes to win this love through the simple gesture of buying her a gift from a bazaar where she wishes to go. His realization that even such simple pleasures are not from people coming from his socio-economic background is the crux of the story. This simple tale tells the readers about the harsh lives of the Dubliners by pointing out that for these people even love was a luxury.

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Araby Essay

James Joyce’s Araby tells the story of a young boy who lives in North Dublin at the beginning of the twentieth century. Araby is the boys’ name for Arbour Hill, a cemetery near his home and one that Mother Francis (the boy’s teacher) claims has “beautiful” trees and flowers. The young unnamed narrator meets Mangan’s sister early in the story and is infatuated with her, but he can’t seem to find a way to talk to her.

The Arbour Hill Martyr’s Festival comes around and Mangan’s sister goes to it; the narrator tries desperately to go as well, but his mother forbids him because it is not a Catholic holiday (he gets sick before she changes her mind). When it finally does come, however, the young boy finds Araby to be disappointing: all of its exotic products are too expensive for him—and then he learns that Mangan’s sister has already left for Araby. Araby turns out not to be as special as everyone said it was.

Araby is a short story by James Joyce. It was published in his book Dubliners and tells the tale of young boy who falls in love with the girl next door, but their encounter is interrupted. Araby can be read as a parable for religious feeling and spiritual transcendence: it begins with the epiphany of a child which reveals to him that life holds infinite possibilities while at the same time possessing certain limits beyond which our wisher cannot pass. Araby takes place within an unnamed city, probably Dublin, during one summer.

The narrator describes himself as being about twelve or thirteen years old when he has an awakening while listening to a melancholy song sung by an Arab street vendor whom he passes on his way to school every day. The song symbolizes a place Araby, which the narrator has never been to but where he nevertheless places his dreams and desires. One evening, the story culminates in a visit to Araby at a bazaar for eastern goods that is held once a year where the narrator glimpses the girl who lives next door from afar. Araby thus becomes a backdrop for their encounter that ends abruptly when she suddenly disappears from view.

Araby begins with an epiphanic moment by young boy about what true love means: The verses sounded sweet to me as I walked along the street, and I wondered why they had so little appeal for others . . . The brief ardour which consumed me as I sat scribbling verse in a secretaire [sic] . . . was roused by certain high notes which made me imagine that I had been the inspirer of unuttered poems in a hearts. Araby, Dubliners Araby is written in third person narrative and begins with the narrator speaking about his discovery of love for his neighbor.

Araby has many themes such as epiphany, mysticism, desire and disappointment. Araby also describes how we search for something we want but will never find it until we stop searching and learn to provide our own satisfaction: I desired Araby untoldly [sic], and the only thing that remotely stirred me to possess it was the fact that my father’s name was Cone . Araby is an unknown place for the character in Araby, but its name Araby sounded so beautiful to him that he would day dream about Araby every time he heard it.

Araby tells of the romantic experiences of a 12-year-old boy, Mangan’s sister, and an unnamed girl who lives near their neighborhood. The writing style is similar to Joycean stream of consciousness writing. One evening at about seven o’clock, the young narrator escapes from his bedroom, where he had been sent as punishment for some misbehavior. He wanders through parts of Dublin until he finds himself outside the house of Mangan’s sister (he is thinking about her).

On this occasion she is not home alone but with a friend—a neighbor though apparently older than both she and the narrator—whom she has invited to tea. The narrator spends some time listening through the window to their conversation, then leaves for home. In many ways Araby is considered a coming of age story. Araby deals with serious issues, such as loss of innocence and growing up in general. Araby also deals with the interactions between people during childhood; however this story does not have any major conflict like most other stories do.

The setting in Araby took place at night when the young protagonist escapes from his bedroom where he had been sent as punishment for misbehavior with Mangan’s sister (he is thinking about her). On this occasion she is not home alone but has invited a neighbor who appears older than both she and the narrator—whom he overhears talking through a window. The Araby short story takes place in Dublin, Ireland and the Araby Festival is discussed throughout the story. This short story deals with serious issues such as loss of innocence and growing up.

Araby also deals with relationships between characters during childhood; however there was no major conflict present in Araby like other stories have. Araby takes place at night when the young protagonist escapes from his bedroom where he had been sent as punishment for misbehavior with Mangan’s sister (he is thinking about her). On this occasion she is not home alone but has invited a neighbor who appears older than both she and the narrator—whom he overhears talking through a window while hiding outside their house.

Araby’s setting takes place in Araby, Dublin, Ireland and Araby is discussed throughout the story. The Araby Festival itself has a significance to the overall plot of Araby by James Joyce. The Araby short story opens with a quote from The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam: “Come, fill the Cup, and in the fire of Spring Your Winter-garment of Repentance fling: The Bird of Time has but a little way To fly—and Lo! the Bird is on the Wing. ” The young protagonist listens through Mangan’s sister’s window as she dances around her living room with their neighbor who had earlier visited after being invited for some tea.

The Aravy Festival reference by James Joyce shows that the Araby Festival is taking place soon and it also shows that Araby is a festival not to be missed (or Araby would be incomplete). The Araby Festival has significance because it takes place at the end of Araby and ties up loose ends. The Araby short story closes with the neighbor’s revelation that Mangan’s sister had accepted his proposal of marriage, as well as having proposed earlier himself; thus the Araby Festival references symbolize the neighbor as a suitor for Mangan’s sister.

The Araby short story closes with “Mangan’s sister was dressed in white” which signifies that she is engaged to her suitor. After Araby alludes that they are both engaged then leaves readers with no question about Araby’s ending. Araby by James Joyce is a short story that leaves readers with no question about Araby’s ending without having to be spelled out for it. Araby closes once the Araby Festival reference is made at the end of Araby and makes a direct connection between Araby and the Araby Festival.

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Literary Analysis of 'Araby' by James Joyce

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araby essay

Last Updated 20 Apr 2022

James Joyce. Araby

1. In Joyce's short story, the young narrator views Araby as a symbol of the mysteriousness and seduction of the Middle East. When he crosses the river to attend the bazaar and purchase a gift for the girl, it is as if he is crossing into a foreign land. But his trip to the bazaar disappoints and disillusions him, awakening him to the rigid reality of life around him. The boy’s dream to buy some little thing on bazaar is roughly divided on the callousness of adults who have forgotten about his request.

And Dublin bazaar with alluring oriental-sounding name "Arabia" is a pathetic parody of the real holiday. 2. Although James Joyce’s story “Araby” is told from the first person viewpoint of its young protagonist, we do not think that a boy tells the story. Instead, the narrator seems to be a man matured well beyond the experience of the story. The mature man reminisces about his youthful hopes, desires, and frustrations.

Because of the double focused narration of the story, first by the boy's experience, then by a mature experienced man, the story gives a wider portrait to using sophisticated irony and symbolic imagery necessary to analyze the boy's character. 3. Mangan's sister is the other central character in the story. The narrator shows us in ironic manner that in his youthful adoration of Mangan’s sister she is the embodiment of all his boyish dreams of the beauty, of physical desire and, at the same time, the embodiment of his adoration of all that is holy.

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Her image, constantly with him, makes him feel as though he bears a holy “chalice” through a “crowd of foes”– the Saturday evening throng of drunken men, bargaining women, cursing laborers, and all the others who have no conception of the mystical beauty his young mind has created in this world of material ugliness. 4. Joyce very clearly defined his creative task in the "Dubliners": "My intention was to write a chapter of the spiritual history of my country, and I chose the scene of Dublin, because this city is the center of paralysis ".

The opening paragraph, setting the scene prepares us for the view we receive of the conflict between the loveliness of the ideal and the drabness of the actual. Long monotonous periods, the rhythm and the threefold repetition of the word "blind" in the sense of impasse and blind create comic discrepancy between the title of the story and its beginning. 5. James Joyce uses dark and gloomy references to create the exact mood or atmosphere. Dark time of day (night) is used throughout the story and darkness is the prevailing theme.

Joyce writes repetitively of the dark as a direct representation of the boy’s life. The boy plays in the dark, he hides in the dark, and he lives in the dark. The darkness is where he comes to an epiphany, and where he matures as a boy. The narrator's perception of the darkness causes him to reflect on his own isolation and loneliness. The nameless boy’s destiny is in the darkness of Dublin, and Joyce knows there is no escaping this. In the end of the story, the boy suddenly awakens to the bleakness of the humdrum life around him.

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