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Difficulties Of Youth In Araby And A&P

816 words - 4 pages

Araby and A&P give accounts of difficulties people going through the crisis period of youth face. The problems may be rooted in the frustration adolescents experience when the alluring promises of new love, opportunities, magical and distant places are crushed by tedious daily existence and conventions.
Araby displays the difficult way young people go to enter adulthood. When the main character becomes fascinated with the image of the neighbor’s sister he discovers that the world around him is vulgar, dull, and “hostile to romance” (Joyce 87). He “grows out” of his familiar reality; his soul begins to yearn for freedom and harmony. The main character no longer sees himself as a child and ...view middle of the document...

Later he is the lonely traveler in the bare carriage and the late bazaar visitor whom no one welcomes. In this view, adults’ inability or reluctance to provide support and advice for the main character is another reason for the frustration connected with growing up.
A&P displays the difficulty of conforming to the expectations of others and making choices. The main character Sammy, a sarcastic and quick-witted young man, has to work in the store and serve “sheep pushing their carts down the aisle” (Updike 33). For Sammy the young girls in bathing suits that enter the shop one day provide a much welcome visual distraction from the habitual “women with six children and varicose veins” (Updike 34). However, when girls’ behavior is criticized by the manager Sammy starts to wonder what rules are and concludes that “Policy is what the kingpins want. What the others want is juvenile delinquency” (Updike 35). This idea and the outrage at manager’s scolding the girls prompt Sammy to announce that he quits. The main character attempts to liken himself to rebellious girls and is ready to stand his ground. Sammy believes that “once you begin a gesture it’s fatal not to go through with it” (Updike 36). On the one hand, the root of Sammy’s problem can be the conventions and rules...

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