Essay on James Joyce's Araby

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James Joyce was an Irish born author whose descriptions of the mundane life in his hometown of Dublin led to a collection of short stories that include some of the most widely read pieces of British literature. This collection known as the “Dubliners” contains 15 short stories that each centers around a different group of characters and reveals a new theme about life in the city. In Joyce's "Araby", part of the “Dubliners” collection, a young and nameless narrator becomes enamored with his friend Mangan’s sister and attempts to win her affections by bringing a gift to her from the bazar that has come into town. The narrator hopes that his visit to the Araby bazaar will not only win her heart but give him some sense of fulfillment as well.…show more content…
The sentences following this initial description describe the brownness of the narrator’s environment; the brown houses, the brown papers in his home, the girl’s brown skin and so on. The color brown has a sense of plainness associated with it and therefore its use in these descriptions is meant to reinforce the mundane aspects of the narrator’s world. Although some initial descriptions of the girl include the color brown, most other depictions of her involve some light playing off her hair or her body in way that suggests the narrator views her as his once chance to obtain something light and beautiful in his life; “the light from the lamp opposite our door caught the white curve of her neck, lit up her hair that rested there and, falling, lit up the hand upon the railing” (Joyce).
Through the narrator’s thoughts, it is revealed that he believes his surroundings are perpetually inadequate and are obstructing the possibility of a more exciting or colorful life. For example, the day he is supposed to go the bazaar everything seems prolong his journey: a long day at school, the lateness of his uncle, and the busyness of the train to the bazaar. The uncle's lateness is indicated to probably be from a state of intoxication as described by the boy’s observation of his uncle’s entry: "At nine o'clock I heard my uncle's latchkey in the hall door. I heard him talking to himself and heard the hallstand rocking when it had received the weight of
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