Childhood Is a Nightmare

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Lyssa Bishop
Professor Robert Bruno
English Composition 2
5 February 2013
Childhood is a Nightmare
In James Joyce’s “Araby” and Yasunari Kawabata’s “Up in the tree,” they both have a perspective through the eyes of innocent children. Childhood can be a nightmare in a couple ways. In “Araby,” a young boy’s nightmare is dealing with an alcoholic guardian. Another way childhood can be a nightmare is in the story “Up in the Tree,” where Keisuke’s parents are fighting and he does not want to leave his best friend. In both stories, childhood was a nightmare.

The young boy in the short story “Araby” talks about life on North Richmond Street. He is raised by his aunt and uncle. The young narrator develops an infatuation on his friend Mangan's sister. One day, the girl finally talks to him and asks if he will go to Araby. Araby is the name of an upcoming bazaar. She can't go though, because she is going on a religious retreat that weekend. The young boy, who is full of romantic ideas, says that he will go and discover some type of gift for her. The only things the young boy can think about are Mangan’s sister, the bazaar, and the gift he will buy for her. He gets approval to go, and for days he cannot focus. The day arrives, and the boy tells his uncle that he hopes to go to the bazaar that night. The boy gives up all hope of being able to go at all, but finally his uncle comes home. After a day at work and going to the bar, his uncle has forgotten about the bazaar, and by now it is fairly late. But the young boy still wants to go, and he takes the slight amount of money for the train and heads off. He reaches the bazaar just as it is concluding. Not many stalls are open. He inspects the goods, but they are much too pricey for him. The lights are being shut off, and the young boy anguishes: "Gazing up into the darkness I saw myself as a creature driven and derided by vanity; and my eyes burned with anguish and anger." The childhood nightmare in this story is a...
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