Araby: the Maturity of a Boy

Topics: Short story Pages: 3 (1174 words) Published: December 11, 2001
The Maturity of a Boy
Passion, adolescence, foolishness, and maturity are the first words that come to one's mind to describe James Joyce's short story, "Araby." In it, he writes about a boy who falls deeply in love with his best friend's sister, who through the story, doesn't seem to notice him or care about him. The boy, who has yet to be named, lives in a poor and run-down town. During the story, certain characters contribute to the boy's developing sense of maturity, and eventually, lead him into adulthood. Mangan's sister, the boy's uncle, the priest, and the girl at the bazaar all serve the purpose of molding the boy into a mature person.

Undoubtedly the main person who unknowingly helps the boy along the path of maturity is Mangan's sister. She is the boy's crush. Whenever he sees her, he follows her wherever she goes. This is strange because the boy admits to hardly ever speaking to her, and he does not know her name. He even pulls up the blinds so that he can watch her. These points show the boy's immaturity, but such can be expected from a boy his age. He thinks about Mangan's sister and visualizes her image everywhere he goes. He idolizes her as an angel. She seems to become a symbol of what he is living for, and she gives meaning to his life. He shows that he is truly in love with her when he starts to talk with her and forgets what he says, which is because he is so caught up in the moment talking with her to think about what he is trying to say. The phrase "She asked me was I going to Araby. I forgot whether I answered yes or no.", best exemplifies these ideas. His immaturity shows in these scenes, but in the end, he finally realizes how immature he really has been by following this girl around. By saying that, we find out that the boy does not just realize his immaturity right away, it takes him a while to mature enough to figure this fact out on his own, and therefore, Mangan's sister plays a major role in the development of...
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