A Complex Short Story By James Joyce

Decent Essays

“Araby,” a complex short story by James Joyce is narrated by a mature man who reflects upon an adolescent boy’s transition into adulthood. The story focuses on the events that brought the main character to face his disconnect of reality. Love plays a distinct role in the boy’s delusion of reality, which Joyce relays from the beginning of the story. Minor characters, such as Mangan’s sister, The priest, Mrs. Mercer, and his uncle hold a vital role in the boy’s shattered innocence. Joyce uses these characters to introduce to the boy the hypocrisy, vanity and illusion of adulthood by highlighting their faults and later linking them to his reality. Joyce places an emphasis on the boy’s infatuation with Mangan’s sister, his love for her marks the beginning and end of his journey. The boy’s desire to possess Mangan’s sister drives him to an isolated state away from childhood friends and the luxuries of being young. He becomes obsessed with his love for her: “From the front window I saw my companions playing below in the street. Their cries reached me weakened and indistinct and, leaning my forehead against the cool glass, I looked over at the dark house where she lived” (305). The boy’s companions are distant spatially and emotionally, which explains why their cries are weak and indistinct. Not only does Joyce separate the boy from his friends, but he also turns his love into an object that he must go on a quest to retrieve. Like a chalice, which is a sacred object, the boy

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