Araby - Analysis

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Josh Boling
Comp. 2
Professor Amicucci
Araby Analysis
“Araby,” is a short story written by James Joyce in 1914. The story is narrated in the first-person and reveals to readers the life a young boy growing up on North Richmond Street. A mostly middle class neighborhood, where excitement is kept at minimum. The story is a coming of age tale and also is themed by frustration and longing for adventure. Romantic inspiration also fuels the main character to head to the bazaar in “Araby“, searching for the perfect gift for a girl he is infatuated with. Joyce entertains readers with religious symbolisms, epic themes throughout, and imagery of dark and light tones for this captivating short story.

Like most stories, the main character, in this case a young boy, is torn between feelings and up bringing. Sometimes because of the way people are raised, they are afraid to follow their feelings and emotions. In “Araby,” the young man’s youthful crush on his friend Mangan’s sister is the driving force to motivate the boy on his adventure to the bazaar. Unfortunately, the boy is in a tough financial situation and the frustrations of arriving too late to the bazaar to be committed to finding the perfect gift compile on one another. The boys quickly realizes that any good gift is out of his price range and begins to understand that he is locked behind the bars of his simple city in Dublin.

Religious symbolisms are prevalent throughout “Araby.” on page 29 of Dubliners, “North Richmond Street, being blind, was a quiet street except at the hour when the Christian Brothers’ School set the boys free.” The street is relaxed and peaceful except when the boys are set free from the eyes of the church and their parents. In regards to the boy’s love for the girl, “I imagined that I bore my chalice safely through a throng of foes (31).” He sees himself on a crusade to win her love. He then imagines himself the instrument of her love, “My body was like a...
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