Characterization Essay

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Characters are like puzzle pieces in works of writing; they all fit together and connect to the story and the unfolding plot. Every character in literature fulfills a specific purpose. Whether it is the protagonist, antagonist, round, or flat character the author took the time to place him/her within the story so there must be some significance.

In “Araby” by James Joyce, Mangan’s sister is not the main character, but is still an important element to the short story as she inspires the story’s actions. Mangan is one of the narrator’s friends who he played up and down the streets with. Mangan’s sister stands on their porch every day to call their brother home. The narrator has the greatest crush on Mangan’s sister, and savors every glimpse of her he can get. He looks through the window every morning just to see Mangan’s sister leaving the house and then he rushes out to walk behind her very quietly until he passes her. They never really talk, but Mangan’s sister is always on the narrator’s mind. He is so obsessed with Mangan’s sister that he feels he will never gain the courage to tell her how he feels. One morning, Mangan’s sister asks the narrator if he plans to go to Araby, a bazaar. She explains that she can’t go because there is a retreat that week in her convent, so the narrator says he will bring her back something. To Mangan’s sister the promise is insignificant, just something mentioned in the course of conversation, but to the narrator it is of great significance. The narrator is so eager to go to the bazaar, and that is all that seems to be on his mind. When the narrator finally arrives to the bazaar it starts to close down. There is one stall open and he is going to buy something, but he feels unwanted by the lady so the narrator buys nothing. The lights then go out and the narrator stands angrily and frustrated in the dark. Mangan’s sister is seen by the narrator like the virgin Mary, and symbolizes the conflicting forces of religion and worldly...
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