Araby: an Outline Commentary

1533 WordsSep 10, 20127 Pages
Araby: An Outline Commentary ‘The Sisters’ and ‘An Encounter’ are about the same length. ‘Araby’ is roughly a hundred lines shorter than these. There is a progression in the three stories. The boy in ‘The Sisters’ is a passive witness, limited in his capacity to act by the weight of the adults about him. The boy of ‘An Encounter’ rebels against this oppression but his reward is the menace of a bizarre and abnormal adult. The boy in ‘Araby’ strives both to act and to realize an actual affective relationship but suffers frustration, a thwarting that results both from the burden of adult control and his own recognition of the falseness of his aims. In short, ‘Araby’ is busy and crowded with people although these come and go in a breath.…show more content…
The Arab’s Farewell to His Steed forms a story link with ‘Eveline’ of a very curious and intricate kind. The author of this sentimental recitation verse was Caroline Norton. Her husband sought to divorce her for her relationship with Lord Melbourne. The priest whose picture was on the wall in ‘Eveline’ is, according to Eveline’s father, now in Melbourne. Unless we assume coincidence, a poor assumption with so careful a writer as Joyce, this constitutes a subterranean connection between the two stories. It may be one of the connections that Joyce challenged Stanislaus to find. If this link seems farfetched, remember that the same author brought us Finnegans Wake where such elaborate associations are a commonplace. An easier link is the railing where Mangan’s sister stands as she talks to the boy. This railing, the iron railing to which Eveline clings and the railing along which Lenehan runs his hands in ‘Two Gallants’ are all related. The boy’s journey is slow and surreal as the porter turns away passengers from the carriage reserved for the bazaar, a carriage whose sole passenger is the boy. He arrives at the bazaar. It is almost ten and, pressed for time, he pays a shilling admission rather than waste time looking for the sixpence turnstile. He thus has a shilling left from what his uncle gave him and, as we learn

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