One of Joyce’ important traits was his ability to paint a realistic picture of Dublin through many of his stories. He believed in portraying Ireland as it really was.
The story of Araby is a portrayal of ‘first love’ and tells of a boy's powerful infatuation with a young girl whom he encounters. Joyce begins the story by creating a sense of a life and world that is both gloomy and trapped. The houses are described as having ‘brown imperturbable faces’ and when he describes one of the backrooms where a priest has died it is ‘musty’. We are being shown an unattractive and dark world.
When the girl is first introduced in the story Joyce writes of how ‘her figure is defined by the light. The girl is associated with imagery of light throughout the story, perhaps bringing warmth into his dark world almost like an angel or holy icon.
We are told of how ‘her dress swung as she moved her body and the soft rope of her hair tossed from side to side.’ Her hair is described as being ‘soft’, a word associated with comfort and tenderness. The story vividly captures the boy's infatuation with the girl. Joyce conveys this through sentences such as ‘I pressed my palms together until they trembled and murmured o’love o’love over and over again.’r. When the girl eventually talks to the boy asking of whether he is going to Araby, he notices all the small details such as she presents herself, of how she ‘turns a silver bracelet around her wrist’ and how ‘the light from the lamp opposite the door caught the white curve of her neck and her hair.’ We are then told of Mrs Mercer, 'a garrulous old woman.' This reveals a sharp contrast to the beautiful...