Character Analysis in 'Araby' by James Joyce

904 Words Apr 27th, 2013 4 Pages
Character Analysis of the Narrator in “Araby” by James Joyce

While “growing up” is generally associated with age, the transition from adolescence to adulthood in particular comes with more subtlety, in the form of experience. James Joyce’s short story “Araby” describes the emotional rollercoaster of its protagonist and narrator - a young boy in love with his best friend’s sister - caused by the prospects of a potential future with his crush. The narrator of James Joyce’s “Araby” is an innocent, emotionally sensitive character, who takes his first step into adulthood through his heart-wrenching experience with first love. The conflicts of “Araby” occur in the narrator’s mind, and they revolve around the narrator’s first crush, his
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Although adolescent years can be those of confusion, frustration, and emotional imbalance, the narrator of “Araby” is particularly sensitive. Towards the beginning of the story, the narrator’s introduces his admiration for Mangan’s sister with much deeper emotion than those of most teenage crushes: “Her name sprang to my lips at moments in strange prayers and praises which I myself did not understand. My eyes were often full of tears (I could not tell why) and at times a flood from my heart seemed to pour itself into my bosom.” (Joyce, 108) The narrator is so overwhelmed by the incomprehensible love he feels for Mangan’s sister that it drove him to tears! As the story continues, the narrator’s emotions grow more consuming. Following his first encounter with Mangan’s sister, the narrator describes the powerful emotions he experiences during the days preceding the night of the bazaar: “I wished to annihilate the tedious intervening days. I chafed against the work of school... I had hardly any patience with the serious work of life which, now that it stood between me and my desire, seemed to me child’s play, ugly monotonous child’s play.” (Joyce, 109) In retrospect, the narrator’s anticipation would end up setting himself up for a greater disappointment, however it was his sensitive nature that let these emotions consume every moment of his life.
After finally overcoming the adverse obstacles of the journey to the bazaar, the narrator enters Araby ten minutes

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