Imagery in "Araby"

Topics: Love, Dubliners, Dublin Pages: 2 (603 words) Published: October 6, 2013
Imagery in "Araby"
In the story "Araby", written by James Joyce, there is plenty use of imagery. James Joyce emphasises imagery in such a subtle yet profound way. The story is about a boy's infatuation to a girl who is known only as "Mangan's sister" and his promise that he will buy her a present at the bazaar(called Araby). Joyce expresses the theme of the boys exaggerated desire through the images which are colourful. The theme of "Araby" is a boy's desire to have what he cannot obtain. Throughout the story there is various uses of imagery such as the image of Mangan's sister, the light and darkness, and the North Richmond street.

Throughout the story you see the narrator fantasize over his friend Mangan's sister. He thinks of her constantly throughout the story, depicting her in many ways. The narrator always seems to describe her as a thing of beauty glimmering in the light, showing his love for her is in a visual aspect. "She was waiting for us, her figure defined by the light from the half-opened door" ( ). He sees Mangan's sister as someone who stands out in the old, dark North Dublin streets and is captivated by her physique. The light from the lamp opposite our door caught the white curve of her neck, lit up her hair that rested there and, falling, lit up the hand upon the railing"( ). Joyce uses the imagery of Mangan's sister to show how the narrator gets lost in this fantasy of love, thinking she's the perfect girl, only to succumb to the unfortunate reality that it was all vanity.

The imagery of light and darkness shows the narrator's feeling of difference from his friends. He feels ostracized and solitude, since he is the only one that is in love. "Her brother always teased her before he obeyed, and I stood by the railings looking at her" ( ). The narrator sees the darkness as a place of hiding. "If my uncle was seen turning the corner, we hid in the shadow until we had seen him...
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