Essay on James Joyce's Araby - Setting in Araby

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Setting in James Joyce's Araby

In the opening paragraphs of James Joyce's short story, "Araby," the setting takes center stage to the narrator. Joyce tends carefully to the exquisite detail of personifying his setting, so that the narrator's emotions may be enhanced. To create a genuine sense of mood, and reality, Joyce uses many techniques such as first person narration, style of prose, imagery, and most of all setting. The setting of a short story is vital to the development of character.

In the opening paragraph, North Richmond Street is introduced as "blind," and "quiet", yet on it rests another house which is unoccupied. The narrator states that the house is, "Detached," from the others on the street, but that, "The other
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This image can be evidenced in the rosy cheeks of warm bodies on a cold night. So many parents can attest, raising an adolescent, is mostly to watch them run through life with blinders on.

When Joyce applies personification to the setting, he creates the mood of the story, and directs the reader to the double meanings found in the personified setting. As an example of mood, winter brings with it the connotation of impending gloom, as the narrator claims, "...the houses had grown sombre...the lamps of the street lifted their feeble lanterns" (379). This idea of Winter casts itself as the mood, where the feeling of awkward introspection is predominant. The lamps like the people of Dublin, have grown weary of there own, during Ireland's own battle with identity. In the broader scope of Joyce's imagery for the short story, it may be said Ireland itself is like the adolescent struggling to find its way. Joyce's messages of "complacency" during the tremendous social and political upheaval are encapsulated in the stories like "Araby," that collectively represent the book "Dubliners."

The double meanings of the description of the physical setting illustrate the finer tuned details of the character. The narrator describes the "wild" garden behind his house containing a "central" apple-tree, perhaps suggesting that within the chaos in life some things remain central and focused. Amid the narrator's chaotic
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