The Theme Of Coming Of Age In James Joyce's Araby

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Coming of age is a much critical and arduous time in a child’s life. In James Joyce’s, “Araby” the use of light and dark imagery creates a profound sense to the coming of age theme, with the contrast between characters, the religious aspects, the moral development of the main character and the lust and affliction when falling in love. As you grow old you witness many different types of people; those who share traits with you and those who are total opposites. “Araby”, by author James Joyce portrays the main character, the narrator, as an adventurous, young man that lives with his Uncle and Aunt. He attends a catholic school with his best friend Managan, that lives just down the street from him. In the story, the narrator could be contrasted to the Uncle in a way that he was more matured than him. Proof of this statement is when he quoted “If my Uncle was seen turning the corner we hid in the shadow until we had seen him safely housed.” (Joyce, 1914); this shows the control he had over the family. This quote also refers to the dark imagery used within the text, it illustrates the image that the Uncle could have been abusive, but there was no specific evidence to prove it. His Uncle’s actions also add to the coming of age theme, being that when the narrator grows up, he will not take the path his Uncle had taken. In this short story, religion places an effect on the coming of age theme in a few important ways. The first way being that the narrator went to a catholic school,
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