In James Joyce’s the Dubliners, How Do the Characters’ Routines Impede Their Opportunities for Adventure and Excitement?

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In “Araby”, “Eveline”, and “The Dead”, three short stories featured in James Joyce’s The Dubliners, the characters struggle with whether to live their lives with a structured routine or to seek opportunities, change, and adventure. These short stories center around everyday life for citizens of Dublin, Ireland in the early 20th century, when a choice between continuing the inherited tradition of routine and structure versus seeking any other form of life or adventure could be the most important decision in the peoples’ lives. With the terrible potato famine still in living memory and with Ireland seeking a new culture and identity, many of its citizens clung to their routine as means of survival. The quotidian routine of the character’s lives suppresses and dominates the characters, preventing any of the characters’ ideas and dreams of seeking adventure. In “Araby,” every aspect of the little boy’s routine and everyday life impedes him from his adventurous goals of visiting the annual bazaar and fulfilling his dream of a relationship with Mangan’s sister. Despite his infatuation with his friend Mangan’s sister, the boy cannot work up the courage to spark a conversation and is pleasantly surprised when she asks him if he is going to the annual bazaar, hosted in Dublin. She then says that she is unable to attend, and the boy offers to bring her an item from the bazaar. Every aspect of the boy’s routine and everyday life seems to be trying to impede the boy from his goals, from school’s boring lessons to his uncle forgetting to arrive home early enough to give him money for the train fair because he was out drinking. Despite the adversities of his everyday life attempting to ensnare him, the boy does make it to the bazaar, but his hopes about the bazaar are not fulfilled. When the boy arrives at the bazaar, he realizes that the bazaar does not live up to his expectations. The untimely distractions that caused the boy to be late to the bazaar cause the boy to...
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