The One that got away
Remember your first crush? Constantly thinking about that other person but never finding the gumption within you to actually talk to them? We've all been there, butterflies running rampant in our stomach and everything else feeling far less important. It was such a big deal to us at the time, but as time passed we realized it was nothing. The story "Araby", by James Joyce, is about one young boy who is going through this difficult time in his life as the butterlies control him. This unnamed boy falls head over heels in love with his best friend's sister; immature infatuation consumes him. Throughout the story, certain characters serve to the boy’s developing sense of maturity, and eventually, lead him into adulthood. The people around him in the story are the building blocks to help evolve him from a infatuated boy into a mature young man.
Certainly the main character who unintentionally helps lead the boy down the path of maturity is Mangan’s sister. The boy is foolishly in love with her. He seeks her out at any possible moment he can, and follows her around like a puppy. The irrationality behind this is that the boy rarely says a word to her, and doesn't even know her name. He creeps on her by pulling up the blinds just so that he can watch her. "The blind was pulled down to within an inch of the sash so that I could not be seen. When she came out on the doorstep my heart leaped." These different points illustrate the boy’s immaturity, but this is understood coming from a boy of his age. He constantly has Mangan's sister on his mind and imagines her image everywhere he goes. He put her up on a pedestal as an angelic figure. She seems to become a symbol of what he is living for, and she gives meaning to his life. He shows that he is truly in love with her when he starts to talk with her and forgets what he says, which is because he is so caught up in the moment talking...
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