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John Updike's Araby And James Joyce's A&P

            A young adolescent boy, who is lovesick for a girl, does not want to be let down nor disappointed. Unfortunately, this is exactly what occurs in two famous short stories. Both Updike's A&P and Joyce's Araby provide a similar theme that conveys a boy's infatuation for a girl and the hardships he has to go through, in order to acquire more experience in the complicated area of love. These passions that are in both stories are presented through the use of detail and the intentions of both protagonists to capture the heart of the girl of their dreams. .
             In short stories or novels, detail is mostly always an important characteristic. However, the same two stories can be looked at in opposite views due to a difference in detail. In Araby and A&P, detail has a large influence when comparing the two stories. From the narration of a teenager, as in A&P, to the telling by a more mature and wiser man in Araby, these two use detail to help the reader have a better understanding and become more emotionally involved in the story.
             Because the narration of Updike's A&P is told by a young boy, the words used in description are obviously that of an obsessed teenager boy and his fantasies towards the opposite sex. The mind of the protagonist of the story, Sammy, is focused on the female characters in the story, but mostly on one specific girl. Sammy uses a very graphic choice of words when describing his lover's legs when expressing them as "long white prima-donna legs" (Updike 27). Another important detail used in this particular story is the use of color, which has more underlying layers than only looking at the color, green, worn by one girl, as only being just another color. According to Updike, he used the color green because it can be looked at in different ways, from meaning "go," as in a traffic light, or having a connotation of "money." From looking at the color in this deeper meaning, the girls, by wearing green, are expressing that they have money, and that their bodies are in motion, making them available to Sammy.

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