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Analysis Of "Araby"

1163 words - 5 pages

Analysis of "Araby"James Joyce's "Araby" is a short story that discusses a young Irish boy's mental development towards maturity. Joyce upholds this by his textual evidence, which may be interpreted by subtext. Multiple literary devices within the fable give it greater depth. In the short story "Araby", the narrator goes through three stages of emotion: indifference, affection, and anguish.The short story begins with the narrator's description of his neighborhood on North Richmond Street, "An uninhabited house of two storeys stood at the blind end, detached from its neighbors in a square ground. The other houses of the street, conscious of decent lives within them, gazed at one another with brown imperturbable faces"(Joyce 1). It is shown that the narrator lives on a dead end with the rather mundane neighbors. The former tenant of his home was a priest who died in the back drawing room. Joyce gives the reader a sense that time has almost stopped in the narrator's home through his text, "Air, musty from having been long enclosed, hung in all the rooms, and the waste room behind the kitchen was littered with old useless paper. . . . The wild garden behind the house contained a central apple tree and a few straggling bushes, under one of which I found the late tenant's rusty bicycle pump"(1). The musty air is due to the lack of fresh air in the house. This can be the cause of regularly closed windows or doors. The build up of old papers signifies that no one is cleaning up in the house. The rusty bike that was mentioned can symbolize non-mobility. The house's descriptions sound as if the house is rundown, and the narrator's home or life seems to be in a state of stagnation. The paragraph shortly after begins to discuss the narrator's interactions with the other children of the neighborhood, "The career of our play brought us through the dark muddy lanes behind the houses, where we ran the gauntlet of the rough tribes from the cottages, to the back doors of the dark dripping gardens where odours arose from the ashpits, to the dark odorous stables . . ."(1). Joyce displays quite the 'dark' scenario in this scene with his use of the word 'dark' thrice. The narrator is stuck in this gloomy sense until the first light appears, "She was waiting for us, her figure defined by the light from the half-opened door"(1). The she in the quote is, the narrator's friend's sister, Mangan's sister. It is interesting that Joyce uses light and dark to symbolize the narrator's love for Mangan's sister. This will lead towards the narrator's next emotion of affection.One of the first descriptions of Mangan's sister hints that the narrator has a particular fondness towards her, "Her dress swung as she moved her body, and the soft rope of her hair tossed from side to side. Every morning I lay on the floor in the front parlour watching her door"(1). It is evident that the narrator is physically attracted to her because he has not had a full conversation with her yet, "I had...

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