An Analysis Of Araby By James Joyce

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Topics: Symbol
“Araby” Essay
During the course of any literature, tone plays a very important role in expressing the views of the author. In “Araby” by James Joyce, Joyce uses this imperative factor in literature to display his view on the story. The quest of life is understood to be a pursuit of happiness.
Everyone will hope for the best, and never for the worst. However, life is not always enjoyable, and in some cases it can be downright unsavory. Some individuals are born into the misfortune of living in horrible conditions during their childhood. In the short story “Araby”, James Joyce’s unsympathetic tone is expressed by the usage of religious symbolism and the contrasts between light and dark imagery.
The setting surrounding the narrator in “Araby” is perceived as being unwelcoming and extremely cruel. The first paragraph uses the word “blind” many times, referencing to the stillness of the street until the school “set the boys free” and the detached homes with “brown imperturbable faces”, all help portray the unsympathetic tone of the story. The narrator’s description of the neighborhood homes and streets are constantly depressing. Joyce writes,
“When we met in the street the houses had grown somber,” the street lamps were “feeble” and the air all around “stung”. The connotations employed by these types of statements are of failure and no future. Throughout the story, by tediously using words like “darkness,” “vanity,” and “anguish”, the unsympathetic tone and mood is reinforced. The exponential reference to churches and other spiritual practices creates many religious symbols throughout the story. The first line is an obvious symbol as Joyce writes,
“North Richmond Street, being blind, was a quiet street except at the time when the Christian
Brothers’ School set the boys free”. The symbol is that the school is a prison which, contradicts the normal ideals of a Christian place. This symbolism is also mentioned by the passage talking about the dead

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