James Joyce's "Araby," is about the deep infatuation of a teenage boy for his friend's sister, and how poverty and anguish taint even the purest childhood dream. It also focuses on the paradox between fantasy and reality.
The boy in the story lived in a Dublin and dreams of starting a relationship with his friend, Magan, sister. The girl is apparently older than him and really hardly even knows he exists. The boy only shows knowledge of her beauty and not of her personality. The boy obviously has a crush on her and somehow perceives it as love. One day Mangan's sister asks the boy whether he plans to go to Araby, a bazaar being held close by. She then requested that he bring her back a gift because she was unable to attend. Getting to Araby then became his mission. However, he has quite a few obstacles in the way, the most apparent being money. The theme of the story is made final in the bazaar, a place of tawdry make-believe. The realization in which the boy lives a dream in spite of the ugly truth is brought to its end. .
In the morning he asks his uncle for money to go to the fair that night, but his uncle does not seem very interested. As a result the boy waits all day for the uncle to return home. The uncle arrives so late that the boy's aunt comments, "I'm afraid you may put off your bazaar for this night of our Lord." But the boy is unconcerned, he gathers all his pocket change, and a small bit it was, and takes off for the bazaar even though it is already past nine o'clock. It costs money to take the train to the fair and money for entering the fair, so by the time he gets to Araby, he is nearly broke. The fair is preparing to close, and the female vendors pay no attention to him as he picks a gift he can afford to buy with the small amount of money he had left. The boy suddenly comes to the realization that his mission is fruitless because he is poor and that his life will be fruitless for the same reason.