Araby: Life Has No Meaning Essay

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Many people try to discover what the meaning of life is and find themselves searching for something that makes them feel complete. Some believe vanity is important, so they struggle to be better than others so they can have the money, the glory, and the luxuries. A desire to find a higher purpose or meaning keeps people from the possibility that life has no meaning. Life is filled with vanity, which is meaningless, therefore life has no meaning. James Joyce's “Araby” displays the theme that life has no meaning through the use of setting, characters, symbols, and motifs. “Araby” takes place in Dublin, Ireland, a city and country whose history has been marked with gloom. The Great Famine of 1740-41 and many years of English …show more content…
His desire strengthens after this, and he hopes to find a gift at Araby that will impress Mangan's sister. Then, he begins to obsess over her and the trip to Araby. The narrator’s obsession causes him to become bored with his schoolwork. Anything that stood between him and his desire seemed to be “ugly monotonous child's play” to him (Joyce 263). Irritability became a common emotion for him. He left the house “in a bad humor” when his uncle stood in the hall, which prevented him from watching for Mangan's sister one morning. Then, later that day, a clock's ticking irritated him to the point where he had to leave the room (Joyce 263). Araby becomes a symbol of what life could potentially be if he was to be with Mangan's sister. He envisions the bazaar as a place that would “cast an Eastern enchantment” over him (Joyce 263). It can be perceived that he hopes she will add excitement to the routine of his life. Once he reaches the bazaar, he finds it dark and
Stewart 3 deserted (Joyce 264). After he struggles to remember why he came to the bazaar “the futility of his purposelessness of his project begins to dawn on him” as he approaches an English shop-girl and two men speaking (Barnhisel). Perhaps he senses that Mangan's sister will be a disappointment like the bazaar when the light he has always seen her in meets the darkness of Araby (Barnhisel). Nevertheless, he

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