Metamorphosis, Araby, a Good Man Is Hard to Find, and the Swimmer

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In James Joyce’s “Araby” and Flannery O’Conner’s “A Good Man Is Hard To Find” both authors direct the reader’s attention to a key moment of insight or discovery by building the readers expectations throughout the story and then surprising the reader with an ending where the main character contradicts the readers built expectations, thus highlighting the epiphany. Joyce directs the reader through the uses of setting and narration while O’Conner heavily uses dialogue. In Araby, the opening scene starts out with the unnamed narrator describing his surroundings as the way he is experiencing them. The word choice makes his environment seem bleak, stale, and unchanging. He states things like, “Air musty from having been long enclosed, hung in all the rooms, and the waste room behind the kitchen was littered with old useless papers. “ A moment later he describes a bicycle pump under a tree as Rusty- implying that things haven’t changed for a while. Then when he writes, “When the short days of winter came, dusk fell before we had eaten our dinners. When we met in the street, the house had grown somber.” Using words like rusty, musty, old useless, and giving the imagery of days that darken early and houses that are somber are all descriptions that create in the readers head an image of a bleak and unchanging environment. The narrator continues, “The space of sky above us was the ever-changing violet and towards it the lamps of the street lifted their feeble lanterns.” This phrase symbolizes how the narrator feels, him being like the lamps that lift at the sight of change. The narrator’s descriptive devices take a change when he begins to describe Mangan’s sister, “Her dress swung as she moved her body and the soft rope of her hair tossed from side to side.” This language exemplifies movement and change as her dress swung and she moved her body and tosses her hair which contrasts with the stale unchanging environment the narrator just finished describing. The narrator...
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