Araby is a short story by James Joyce that was first published in 1914. The story follows an unnamed boy as he becomes infatuated with a girl named Mangan’s sister. When the boy learns that she is to go to Araby, a bazaar in Dublin, he makes haste to save up his money so that he may buy her a gift. However, upon finally reaching Araby, the boy finds that it is nothing but a vulgar display of commercialism and that the girl he loves is unattainable. Araby is thus a story of unrequited love and disillusionment.
While Araby may at first seem like a simple tale of young love, it is actually much more than that. Joyce uses the story to explore the theme of coming of age. The boy in the story is on the cusp of adulthood, and his infatuation with Mangan’s sister is representative of his transition from childhood to adolescence. This is seen in the way that the boy idealizes the girl and the Araby bazaar.
To him, Araby is a place of mystery and romance, where he will finally be able to express his love for Mangan’s sister. However, when he actually attends Araby, he discovers that it is nothing like he imagined it would be. The girl he loves is not interested in him and Araby itself is just a cheap marketplace. This disillusionment is an important part of the boy’s coming of age, as he learns that the world is not always as perfect as he might want it to be.
Joyce also uses Araby to critique the Irish Catholic Church. The boy attends a Catholic school and his uncle is a priest. However, the boy does not seem to have any real faith in the religion. This is seen in the way that he prays for Mangan’s sister, not asking for anything specific, but just hoping that she will somehow be made aware of his love for her. The boy’s lack of faith is representative of Joyce’s own views on the Church. He saw it as being hypocritical and corrupt, and Araby can be seen as a criticism of the Church’s influence on Irish society.
Araby is a complex short story that deals with themes of coming of age, disillusionment, and religion. Joyce uses the story to explore these ideas in a way that is both moving and thought-provoking.
The views from which stories are composed are utilized to complement the overall point of a narrative. James Joyce’s Araby, like many other works, includes several biblical allusions. It is narrated by a young boy around the age of twelve or thirteen and depicts his personal adolescence. The use of first-person narration allows the reader to follow the boy’s thoughts as he experiences wonder and innocence, thus feeling the incredible force in his ultimate understanding. In addition to this coming-of-age subject, numerous biblical references may be found intricately woven throughout.
Araby is a story which, though short, is dense with both literary and symbolic devices. As Araby progresses, the reader watches the boy’s naivete slowly erode. In the beginning he is content to simply daydream about Mangan’s sister. “Her name was like a summons to all my foolish blood” (Joyce 5). He does not think of her in terms of anything more than a pretty face. Even when he begins to take note of her every movement, he still does not understand what it is he wants from her – only that he wants something.
This can be seen in his reaction to her asking him to go to Araby. “I scarcely answered her… My body was like a harp and her words and gestures were like fingers running upon the wires” (Joyce 7). He is so consumed by his infatuation that he can barely string together a sentence. It is only when she mentions Araby – an exotic, foreign place – that he begins to understand what it is he wants from her. Araby becomes a symbol of his yearning for something more than the dreary, dead-end life he currently leads.
The boy’s illusions are further shattered when he actually goes to Araby. What was once a place of mystery and enchantment in his mind is revealed to be a dirty, grimy market. “The stall…was piled with sweetmeats which attracted my gaze even while they nauseated me” (Joyce 10). The boy is so disappointed that he doesn’t even want to buy anything for Mangan’s sister.
It is only when he sees her standing in the light of the gas lamps, “her dress swinging as she moved and the soft rope of her hair tossed from side to side” (Joyce 11) that he is reminded of why he came to Araby in the first place. He rushes to buy her a gift, but by the time he gets back to her house she has already left with her aunt. The boy is left standing in the dark, alone and disillusioned.
In the year 1900, Araby takes place in Dublin, Ireland. The Catholic Church had a firm grasp on the nation at this time. James Joyce had a profound animosity for the Roman Catholic Church and its teachings, but these sentiments could not be expressed openly. Instead, Joyce utilized his craft to voice them symbolically by beginning his tale with such a statement. This story will use its writing as a tool to speak out about these feelings, similar to how Joyce did so with his writing in “The Dead.”
It is important to note that Araby is not actually a real place, but a bazaar. This bazaar was held in the North side of Dublin every year and was a very big event for the locals. The protagonist of the story is a young boy who becomes enthralled by Mangan’s sister. Mangan is a boy who lives next door to the protagonist and is also good friends with him. The sister seems unattainable to the young boy and he falls deeply in love with her. When she speaks of going to Araby, the boy decide that he will go and buy her a gift.
Throughout the story we see how Joyce uses symbolism to show us the truths about religion that he so vehemently disagrees with. For example, the boy’s uncle falls asleep in his chair every night after dinner. This is a symbol for how the Church lulls its followers into a false sense of security. The boy’s journey to Araby is one that is wrought with disappointment. When he finally arrives, he finds that it is nothing like he had imagined.
This is a direct reflection of how Joyce felt about the Catholic Church. It promises so much, but in the end delivers nothing. The Araby bazaar is a symbol for how the Church uses people’s piety to line its own pockets. The young boy in this story is representative of all those who have been taken in by the lies of the Church. Joyce uses Araby as a way to show us the truth behind religion and to warn us of its dangers.
Araby is a story that is rich in symbolism and hidden meaning. It is a reflection of Joyce’s own feelings about the Catholic Church and its role in Irish society. It is a warning to those who would blindly follow any institution, no matter how corrupt it may be. Araby is a powerful story that speaks to the human condition and exposes the darkness that lies at the heart of all organized religion.
A charitable priest had died in the house and bequeathed his money to charity organizations while leaving his furnishings to his sister. This might be a symbolic allusion to the fall of Roman Catholicism, with the priest being Ireland and the religion. It’s also worth noting that when Christ visited, many people were cured (though he fails to question this owing on his innocence). How did a priest come into possession of so much money? This is an interesting attempt at exposing church hypocrisy and dishonesty.
Araby is a country that the boy and his friends believe to be an amazing, wonderful place. It is a symbol for the boyєs view of the world- he wants to explore and find places like Araby, but instead he finds himself in a dark, dreary place that is the complete opposite of what he wanted. This could be interpreted as a symbol for how life often doesnєt turn out how we want it too, or how things are often not as great as we build them up to be in our heads.
The boyєs journey to Araby could also be seen as a coming of age story, in which the boy learns that the world is not as perfect as he thought it was and that he needs to be more realistic in his expectations. Araby could also be interpreted as a symbol for the Irish country and its people, who were often looked down upon by the rest of the world and treated like second-class citizens. The boyєs journey to Araby could be seen as a symbol for the journey that the Irish people have taken in their quest for independence and freedom.