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"Araby" A Literary Analysis

858 words - 3 pages

As humans grow they pass through various stages of development, often some stages are never reached, when a new stage is successfully reached the person has under gone some sort of realization. James Joyce's short story "Araby" is in simple terms about initation, it is a story is about a young boy's adventure that allows him to progress from one stage to the next with the realization of his narcissistic behavior.At first the boy is innocent, unaware of himself and the world around him. The first few paragraphs reflect this innocence. The street on which the boy lives is "blind" and "quiet", much like the boy. The boy is blind to the fact of life, he doesn't understand that his actions are in vain. The house at the end of the street, probably an analogy of the boy is "detached" and "uninhabited". The house at the end of the street symbolizes the boys total detachment from the real world. Mangan's sister does provide the boy with an escape at times. For example when the boy is walking through "flaring streets", the real world is almost not there and his imagination produces sensations that give him a new world, one in which the thought of her leads his way. The house in which the boy lives, describes why he has remained innocent until this point. The priest who used to live in the house is already dead and thus it symbolizes the lack of the religious guide to the boy. The air in the house is musky, there are old papers and yellowed books in one room, as well as an unkept garden, suggesting that the house was not looked after, and allowed to age on its own. The boy much like the house has been allowed to age on its own. The aunt and uncle are the only family members of the boy mentioned, neither one seems to take much responsibility in raising him, especially the uncle. The absence of a true parental figure in the story suggests that the boy lacks some sort to help him progress into manhood.Drifting away from his schoolmates' boyish games, the boy has fantasies in his isolation, in the ecstasy and pain of first love. When at last mangan's sister speaks to the boy, he sees in her angelic qualities, "The light from the lamp opposite our door caught the white curve of her neck, lit up her hair". She speaks about how she would love to go to araby, the bazaar but cannot because of a "retreat in her convent". The fact that religion is important to...

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