Author: James Joyce
Plot: Araby is a story about a boy who looses his innocence and his perfect idealizations. The boy watches Mangan’s sister, he talks to her a little bit and he develops a childhood crush on her. One morning Mangan’s sister asks the boy if he plans to go to Araby, the Dublin Bazaar, she tells him she can’t go and he offers to get her something from it. He then becomes very anxious waiting for the bazaar. On the morning of the bazaar, the boy reminds his uncle that he plans to go to the bazaar so that his uncle will come home and give him money. The boy’s uncle comes home late and then the boy rushes to the bazaar just as its closing. Upon arrival he feels like he does not belong there and like he is unwanted, he does not get Mangan’s sister anything, and he leaves angrily. 20th Century Themes/Critical Approaches Addressed by Story (with textual references):
I think this story is best approached by a psychoanalytical criticism. I think the boy uses projection because he learns about love and romance, and he wants to be more grown up, so he develops a crush on Mangan’s sister. I think that also shows the superego a little bit, he wants to follow the social norms of being grown up by loving someone. Psychoanalytic critics view imagery as having sexual implications, though I don’t think the boy is thinking sexually about Mangan’s sister, I believe he is forming a romantic idealization of her, he notices the way she looks and makes a romantic remark, “Her dress swung as she moved her body, and the soft rope of her hair tossed from side to side.” Personal Response:
I like this story a lot; it was really interesting and had so many good themes. I think that this is a coming of age story, because the narrator goes through a transformation. He loses his innocence, his childhood, and realizes the danger of idealizations. I thought this was a bit sad because it’s so reminiscent of what does happen to children, they grow up. I don’t...