Youthful Experience in James Joyce's Araby Essay

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Youthful Experience in James Joyce's Araby

James Joyce's, "Araby" is a simple tale of youthful passion set in the midst of a harsh economic era. The main character of the story is a young boy living in a bleak environment who becomes entangled in the passions, frustrations, and realizations of youth. The bleak setting of the era is enhanced by the narrator's descriptions of the young boy's surroundings. "Araby" is a story of the loneliness of youth, the joy of youthful passion, and the realization of lost dreams.

In the very beginnings of "Araby" the narrator sets up a feeling of loneliness in the story by describing North Richmond Street as a "quiet street" and gives a description of "an uninhabited house" at the blind end which
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The most interesting of these descriptions, which appears to be a pivot-point in the story, occurs when the young boy is waiting to see if Mangan's sister would go in or remain on the doorstep. The narrator states that "...we left our shadow place and walked up to Mangan's steps resignedly" (253). It is with the use of this phrase that the narrator turns from his dark descriptions and leads us into the awakening passion of the young boy for the young girl. As the young boy watches the young girl from the shadow, his thoughts turn to her and his own inner passions. He leaves his shadowy place to go to Mangan's steps and so does the narrator leave his dark descriptions of the boy's life and turn to the more passionate theme of the story. The narrator describes Mangan's sister: "Her dress swung as she moved her body and the soft rope of her hair tossed from side to side" (253). His passion for the young girl is evident by the thoughts of the young boy. The narrator states, "Her image accompanied me even in places the most hostile to romance" (253). He states again that, "Her name sprang to my lips at moments in strange prayers and praises which I myself did not understand" (253). These statements are in sharp contrast to the analysis of "Araby" by A.R. Coulthard who writes:

Surely the refugee from such paralysis who wrote "Araby" wanted his readers to see the disillusioned adult moralist who narrates the story, and not the dreamy young sensualist he once
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