(855) 4-ESSAYS

Type a new keyword(s) and press Enter to search

Araby by James Joyce

            James Joyce's "Araby" is a short story drawn from Joyce's childhood in Dublin. Within this short story, the unnamed narrator tells the story of a seemingly short incident in a boy's life. This incident has actually brought about a realization or an epiphany of a truth about life that is more of realism than of a warm and fuzzy moment within the boy's young existence. The themes of "Araby" are those of paralysis of anticipation of a joyous trip to a Dublin bazaar, which includes an Oriental motif, Araby. The entire story builds emotionally from the narrator's infatuation with his friend's sister to the allure of going to an exotic retreat from the dingy streets of his dismal neighborhood. Joyce's "Araby" explores the hopes and dreams of a young boy and how those hopes are dashed by the stark realities of inescapable challenges in everyday life.
             The mood of the story is created with the narrator's description of the boy's home and neighborhood. The narrator describes the neighborhood with scenes at dusk, or when the light is withdrawing from the streets. When describing his surroundings, the narrator uses words like "feeble lanterns" (Joyce, 1) as well using the word 'dark' repeatedly to reiterate the depletion of light within the neighborhood: "dark muddy lanes" (1); "dark dripping gardens (1); and "dark odorous stables" (1). Only when the "light from the kitchen windows filled the areas" (1) where the characters able to visualize the activities of the boy's uncle and the 'dark form' of Mangan's sister. .
             It is Mangan's sister with whom the boy is completely enamored; "Her figure defined by the light of the half-opened door" (Joyce, 1). The boy did not want his passion for her detected so he would lie at his parlor window with the blind slightly raised so he could watch for her movements at her door and he could 'accidentally' follow her on his way to school.

Essays Related to Araby by James Joyce

Got a writing question? Ask our professional writer!
Submit My Question