For readers who have ever had their heart broken or dreams crushed, “Araby” by James Joyce may be a flashback to a reality long forgotten. The young boy transforms before the eyes of the reader before one can actually grasp the fact of what is happening. He goes from a dark mindset, to an optimistic one with the chance of love in his mind, only to end up back in a pessimistic state of mind. In “Araby” the narrator takes a journey down a dark childhood path that ends in a sudden realization that life, most specifically adulthood, is a dark and ominous place as he finds himself alone and angry at the world in the end.
The young boy, as the narrator in this story, gives the writing an edge because he is telling of his physical and emotional journey from a leisure childhood to the reform and loneliness of adulthood. In the beginning of the story the narrator has just moved into a new house that Joyce describes as “ An uninhabited house of two storeys stood at the blind end, detached from its neighbours in a square ground” (Joyce (326). In relation to that statement the boy also uses words such as “musty,” “damp,” and “rusty” to describe the different aspects of the house and items that surround him. Joyce sets a dark tone to “Araby” when he uses those words to describe the house in which the boy lives. Joyce’s use of descriptive words for the boys’ school adds to the darkness in which the story takes place. “ North Richmond Street, being blind, was a quiet street except at the hour when the Christian Brothers’ School set the boys free” (Joyce (326). Joyce uses the word blind to describe the street on which the school resides as well as to describe the house as stated previously. His use of blind gives a meaning of drab or lack in physical appearance to give the setting in “Araby” an unpleasant feeling when introduced to its atmosphere. Joyce also refers to the Christian Brothers’ School as setting the boys free. He is referring to the school as being...
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