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James Joyce's Araby: A Coming Of Age Tale

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Araby: A Coming of Age Tale
In James Joyce’s “Araby” the main character goes through a simple, youthful experience of having a crush on a friend’s older sister. The boy throughout the story describes things that on the surface appear to be simple and uncomplicated. With closer examination we can see that Joyce has designed a reality that a boy might not recognize, but we as mature readers can exam with a finer point. The realities of situations in the story are far more complex than the overall appearance in the story. The aspects of the spirituality, affection, light, and the epiphany contain a boyish narrator’s perspective, that with closer examination reveals a harsher reality.
“Araby’s” perspective on spirituality is simple in appearance, …show more content…
He wished to “annihilate the tedious intervening days” and began to become increasingly distracted with his school work (Joyce 499). The narrator believes these are the days that separate him from completing his noble quest. In actuality the narrator is becoming idle as he becomes increasingly distracted by “worldly concerns” (Barnhisel). His studies became simply “child’s play” and he began to fixate of this girl (Joyce 499). The narrator begins to lust after the girl. He envisions her night and day. His lust is his representation of being distracted from his Roman Catholic faith. Even the word “Araby”, a Middle Eastern word, is another way the Joyce shows how his character is becoming obsessed with worldly things. He is being distracted from his strict …show more content…
The narrator realizes that he has been lusting after Mangan’s sister. With his deep religious background, he would realize that is a sin. He makes this epiphany in a stall where he overhears the conversation among the youth (Barnhisel). He realizes his “stay is useless” not only at the bazaar stall, but also his quest to win the love and affection of Mangan’s sister. His epiphany is the “temporal gloom” that shatters his youth (Coulthard).
Over all the narrator of “Araby” is disillusioned and romantic. He seems the world in a romantic way. The appearances versus reality are very evident to the reader. Over the story he comes to understand that he is driven by his sexuality and lust, but not by his true love and affection of a girl.
Works Cited
Barnhisel, Greg. "An overview of 'Araby,'." Short Stories for Students. Literature Resource Center Detroit: Gale, 2002.Web. 12 Apr. 2014. Coulthard, A.R. "Joyce's 'Araby.' (James Joyce)." The Explicator 52.2 (1994): 97+.

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