Araby Literary Critique

Topics: Dubliners, Samuel Beckett, James Joyce Pages: 2 (679 words) Published: October 13, 2012
Araby, by James Joyce, is a story about an unnamed narrator who becomes infatuated with his friend, Mangan’s, sister, but does not have the courage, nor the will power to pursue his affections. After observing her in the gloomy streets of Dublin for some time, an opportunity finally presents itself as Mangan’s sister initiates conversation with the narrator, altering the narrator’s otherwise repetitive and simple life. “I had never spoken to her, except for a few casual words, and yet her name was like a summons to all my foolish blood” (Joyce). Mangan’s sister asks the narrator if he is going to Araby, a Dublin bazaar which she cannot attend due to a prior school commitment. Shocked and confused, the narrator offers to bring her something from the bazar, a conversation which launches him into a period of intense anticipation and eagerness to go. “I did not know whether I would ever speak to her or not or, if I spoke to her, how I could tell her of my confused adoration” (Joyce). He is unable to concentrate in school, finding the work tedious; his thoughts are consumed by Mangan’s sister. The morning of the departure for the bazaar, the narrator reminds his uncle to return home early with the train fare, yet his uncle keeps the narrator waiting in constant anticipation and eagerness. It is not until much later that the uncle returns home with the train fare, insouciant about forgetting the narrator’s plans. After a lonely train ride, he arrives at the bazaar to find the shops closing for the night. "I lingered before her stall, though I knew my stay was useless” (Joyce). The narrator begins to contemplate why he is there and becomes upset as he makes discoveries about himself. “Gazing up into the darkness I saw myself as a creature driven and derided by vanity; and my eyes burned with anguish and anger” (Joyce). In Araby, Joyce is able to show contrast between the familiarity and routine of everyday and the allure of the excitement of new love by his use of...
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