Araby by James Joyce Analysis

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James Joyce was an Irish novelist and poet. He is known as one of the most influential writers during the twentieth century. Religion was a big part of Joyce’s life, and it is very vivid in his writing pieces. He rejected religion in his early years as a Christian, and as he grew older he began to attend a Catholic Church. In the story, Mangan charms an unnamed narrator. We learn that a naïve and young boy is disappointed when he realizes that the girl he is in love with treated him as an immature. Araby by James Joyce used heavy imagery and biblical references to tell a reminiscing story of his past.

Joyce tells a reminiscing story of his past. He introduces the setting as a very secluded and lonely town on Dublin, Ireland. Ironic how the author himself grew up in Ireland on North Richmond Street and was very Catholic as a child. “North Richmond Street, being blind, was a quiet street except at the hour when the Christian Brothers’ School set the boys free.” This gives the reader an empty picture of a lonely street in their head. This also reflects on how Joyce was Christian growing up when he states “when the Christian Brothers’ School set the boys free.”

“The Abbot, by Walter Scott, The Devout Communicant, and The Memoirs of Vidocq,” are all religious texts that are found by this unnamed narrator in the house of a charitable priest who had passed away. These biblical references show that the author himself was very religious. Religion also comes to play when the unnamed author describes Mangan. “She was waiting for us, her figure defined by the light from the half-opened door. Her brother always teased her before he obeyed, and I stood by the railings looking at her. Her dress swung as she moved her body, and the soft rope of her hair tossed from side to side.” The light, railings, and dress in this text gives the reader an image of light shining on an authority figure, such as Virgin Mary or whoever. He is also very descriptive about the texture of the...
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