Portrayal of Light and Darkness in James Joyce’s “Araby”

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Portrayal of Light and Darkness in James Joyce’s “Araby”

In James’ story “Araby” the narrator creates an image in the reader’s mind of a dark and dull world where he spends his days playing and becoming infatuated with a friend’s sister. He portrays to us a dull background in order to shows us the “light” in his world of darkness. As the narrator starts his story off he paints a world that is dark by using such words as: blind, uninhabited, and detached. These words give the reader a sense of darkness and solidarity in the story. It seems that the main character in the story sees darkness and disappointment all around him, aside from when he sees the girl he is infatuated with, at these times he sees her as light in his world of
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In his communications with Mangan’s sister he did not know what to say and seeing how the men at the bazaar were talking with the woman merchant so easily he felt even more angry at his-self for thinking he was really going to win over Mangan’s sister with just a present. He is once again in a darkness showing that the narrator is ashamed and angered. The narrator ends the story just as he started, in darkness. How light and darkness is portrayed in this story of a young boy, who believes he is in love with a girl, is meant to help us see that the boy is blindly naïve by his emotions. How he sees his house and the neighborhood, always in dark settings, is an example of this. Dark settings in this story help the reader through the story and give you a sense that this story is not going to have a happy ending. The only time he mentions and describes light is when he sees Mangan’s sister. These contrasting portrayals within the story are meant to help show how disillusioned and naïve the boy really is when it comes to matters of the

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