Essay on The Sisters and An Encounter

1210 Words5 Pages
Like the two previous stories, The Sisters and An Encounter, Araby is about a somewhat introverted boy fumbling toward adulthood with little in the way of guidance from family or community. The truants in An Encounter managed A young boy who is similar in age and temperament to those in “The Sisters” and “An Encounter” develops a crush on Mangan’s sister, a girl who lives across the street. One evening she asks him if he plans to go to a bazaar (a fair organized, probably by a church, to raise money for charity) called Araby. The girl will be away on a retreat when the bazaar is held and therefore unable to attend. The boy promises that if he goes he will bring her something from Araby. The boy requests and receives…show more content…
When the man returns home, he is talking to himself and he almost knocks over the coat rack. He has forgotten about his promise to the boy, and when reminded of it—twice—he becomes distracted by the connection between the name of the bazaar and the title of a poem he knows. The boy’s aunt is so passive that her presence proves inconsequential. Like “An Encounter,” “Araby” takes the form of a quest—a journey in search of something precious or even sacred. Once again, the quest is ultimately in vain. In “An Encounter,” the Pigeon House was the object of the search; here, it is Araby. Note the sense of something passionately sought, against the odds: “We walked through the flaring streets, jostled by drunken men and bargaining women, amid the curses of labourers, the shrill litanies of shop-boys who stood on guard by the barrels of pigs' cheeks, the nasal chanting of street-singers . . . . These noises converged in a single sensation of life for me: I imagined that I bore my chalice safely through a throng of foes.” Although the boy ultimately reaches the bazaar, he arrives too late to buy Mangan’s sister a decent gift there, and thus he may as well have stayed home: paralysis. Like the narrator of “An Encounter,” this protagonist knows that “real adventures . . . must be sought abroad.” And yet, having
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