“All’s fair in love and war.” - Frank Farleigh. Love is a blessing and a curse, and illness and a cure, a victory and a loss. Undoubtedly there are neither rules nor limits to the obscurities and paradoxes which present themselves in relationships, especially those which are built upon unsolidified bases. These foundations on which love is created upon may be subdivided into simple factors such as how someone met or more importantly where they met. In James Joyce’s Dubliners, the three stories Araby, A Painful Case and The Dead stand out tremendously and are of substantial importance regarding the topic of love. Regret and anger are overlapping themes which allow the reader to understand the negativity towards love in a society which boasts a miserable social condition resulting in the degradation of love.
The short story Araby provides readers insight into the mind of James Joyce’s creative genius by providing the reader powerful quotes regarding the dreadfulness and emptiness of love in the crude society of North Dublin. The theme of regret is a small subtlety that presents itself in this story to understand the pain and metal aguish love causes to one that can never love another. The inability to love is caused by the religious convent that the young woman belongs too and this inability slowly eats away at the young man’s sanity as seen by his fallacious thoughts, "I wished to annihilate the tedious intervening days. I chafed against the work of school. At night in my bedroom and by day in the classroom her image came between me and the page I strove to read." (Joyce 24) These unsound debilitating feelings are most defiantly affecting him outside of the realm in which he spends time watching this young woman. By reading and interpreting these thoughts the reader can start to comprehend the magnitude and effect of the pain: they cause the young man to falter in most everything he does. Not only do Mr. Joyce’s characters feel aversion towards love but...
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