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James Joyce's Araby Essay

1469 words - 6 pages

Araby is one of the most well regarded works of fiction found in James Joyce's collection of short stories, Dubliners. It is a short story with many different views, but clearly a story of dream versus reality with hidden implications. In 1882, James Joyce was born into a well-off Catholic family in Dublin, Ireland. He was the oldest of twelve siblings and as the years passed the family slowly began to slip into poverty. He attained a proper education at Jesuit- run schools where "he enjoyed writing essays parodying various literary styles, which won him several large awards" (http://wa.essortment.com/jamesjoycesa_rqjn.htm). After graduating from Royal University, Joyce left for Paris but returned home to Dublin after only a few months to care for his dying mother.In June of 1904 he met Nora Barnacle, and by October they left together for Europe to escape a disagreement with his publisher in Dublin. Joyce and Barnacle settled in Austria where Joyce wrote and taught English in attempt to make ends meet. He made two trips back to Ireland in 1909 and 1912 to arrange for the publication of Dubliners. During the twenties and the thirties, the Irishmen lived in Paris writing novels, short stories, poems and plays. In 1931, after years of living together, Nora and James finally married. In 1941 he had an operation on a Duodenal Ulcer and died unexpectedly a few days later in Austria at the age of fifty-nine. Literary critic Ian Scott- Kilvert described James Joyce's life by saying: " When he died in 1941 there was little responsible literary opinion in either Europe or America that failed to acknowledge him as one of the world's most significant writers of age" (41).James Joyce was a novelist, short-story writer, poet and playwright. His first major work was Chamber Music, a collection of thirty-six poems written in 1904. Joyce enjoyed writing poetry. Finnegans Wake and Pomes Penyeach are two popular poems described as "prayer like" (Scott- Kilvert 42). In 1918 he wrote a play called Exiles, yet it was of minor interest to him. Between 1904 and 1906 he wrote Dubliners, a collection of fifteen stories "seen as both a group of short stories and as a novel" (Wilson 1). Ulysses, The Dead, and Araby are three of his most popular stories from Dubliners, all of which were based on facts and people from his own life.Araby is the third story in Dubliners centered in 1894 Dublin, Ireland. It is a story of a twelve-year-old boy who begins to pursue the older sister of his playmate, Mangan. The boy lives with his aunt and uncle in a house once occupied by a priest. One day Mangan's sister asks the boy if he is going to Araby, a bazaar in town. She is unable to attend so he agrees to go, and bring her back a gift. When the bazaar comes he has to wait all day for his uncle to come home from the pub to give him pocket money for the bazaar. By the time the young boy gets to Araby, the bazaar is getting ready to close and most of the stalls are counting the days...

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