James Joyce's Araby - Character, Structure and Style in Araby

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Character, Structure and Style in Araby

According to Hazel Edwards, “A good story writer needs to be a craftsman, for the construction is tighter than that required for most novels. Usually a short story concentrates on a few characters- rarely more than three major ones. The story revolves around a single, dramatic incident which typifies the characters’ reactions. Length varies from 1,000 to about 5,000 words.” With these characteristics in mind, then we are going to examine James Joyce’s short story Araby in terms of depiction of character, the story structure and the style.

Araby was one of the short stories from James Joyce’s short story collection called Dubliners first published in 1907. As James Joyce was
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This realistic setting of time and place enables the reader to identify with the characters of the story .

Moreover the point of view used by James Joyce also enhances this authenticity. Araby was written from the “I’ point of view or what we call first person viewpoint . This enables the reader to identify more readily with the feelings of the major character. The “I’ in the story is not James Joyce himself but it is the “persona’ he assumed for telling the story . In this case he did not use the viewpoint of his own as an adult but the persona’ s view point as a child.

For this story, the “I “ viewpoint is deliberately chosen as this story is about a boy who secretly admired a girl living nearby. Without the omniscient viewpoint, reader can have no understanding of the girl’s impression or feelings about the boy. Readers only know what the boy thinks of the girl but not vice versa. In this way, the readers may find it more interesting as they can identify themselves more with the boy and it may help them to recall their own experience of admiring somebody secretly.

James Joyce depicted the protagonist- the boy mainly through what he does, what he says,as well as, what he doesn’t do and say.

The timid character of the boy which is shared by most secret admirers,
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