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Analysis of Araby by James Joyce

            In James Joyce' short story "Araby" he describes a young boy's first experience with love and obsession. Initially, the story is set in the narrator's neighborhood in Dublin where we learn of his intense feelings for his friend Mangan's older sister. Over the course of the story, the narrator becomes more and more infatuated with his friend's sister. Mid way through the story the narrator has a brief conversation with Mangan's sister about going to a bazaar called Araby that will be coming to their town. When he learns that she is unable to attend due to a retreat she must attend in her convent, he becomes fixated on going to the bazaar and getting her a gift. He becomes so obsessed with this girl and the gift that he starts ignoring his school work and can think of nothing but the bazaar and this girl. He asked his uncle to give him the money for the gift, and his uncle agreed. Unfortunately, his uncle forgot and came home late from work on the evening of the bazar. By the time the boy arrived at Araby, it was virtually closed down for the night. The story ends with the narrator feeling extremely angry and dejected. James Joyce wrote this story to reflect on the irrational complexities of a young man's first love.
             As for the main character, a young boy from Dublin, we are revealed very little about him. All we can really gather is that he is of school age, lives with his Aunt and Uncle, has a tremendous crush on his friend's older sister, and is quite naive. This is based upon the foolish and dramatic things he does to win the affection of this girl. It is very obvious to the reader that this boy wants this girl more than anything because as soon as she mentions the bazaar, he jumps at the opportunity to go and buy her a gift. The naivety that he exhibits can be seen in the actions previously mentioned as well as the anger and frustration seen at the very end of the story.

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