Two Short Stories of Awareness

Topics: Existence, Initiation, Awareness Pages: 4 (1614 words) Published: October 8, 1999
Two Short Stories Of Awareness Beyond Oneself:"Araby" And "A Sunrise On The Veld""Araby" by James Joyce and "A Sunrise On The Veld" by Doris Lessing are both short stories in which theprotagonists gained a consciousness that was beyond themselves. The main characters are both initiatedinto new realities and truths of which they were not previously aware. Both short stories will beexamined with reflections according to the type of initiation that was experienced, the nature of thenarrators, the similar and dissimilar aspects of both characters and various components of the short stories. In the two stories, both characters were experiencing an initiation or awareness of newactualities that were outside of themselves. The main characters both painfully learned that thisinitiation was beyond their control. It was impossible for them to ignore the new realities which theyboth came to understand. The new found awareness was so powerful that it changed each boy’s entireoutlook and they both began to see the world through new eyes. The type of initiation both charactershad was a distressing journey from innocence to knowledge and experience. The two narrators had different attitudes and reactions to the initiation experience.In Araby, the reader learns of the boy’s initiation in the final sentence: "Gazing up into the darkness I saw myself as a creature driven and derided by vanity; andmy eyes burned with anguish and anger."1 The character had a negative reaction to his new awareness. His realization caused him to have feelingsof shame, anguish and anger. He was possessed and controlled by his passion for Mangan’s older sister.His ideals of the girl were not realistic but were futile and vain. The girl drew out feelings in himand he discovered that feelings must be reciprocated and the downside that love can also be painful. Hehad a difficult time accepting his own weakness. He was in distress because he had stopped for a momentand gazed up into the...
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