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Themes in James Joyce's Araby Essays

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In the story of, "Araby" James Joyce concentrated on three main themes that will explain the purpose of the narrative. The story unfolded on North Richmond Street, which is a street composed of two rows of houses, in a desolated neighborhood. Despite the dreary surroundings of "dark muddy lanes" and "ash pits" the boy tried to find evidence of love and beauty in his surroundings. Throughout the story, the boy went through a variety of changes that will pose as different themes of the story including alienation, transformation, and the meaning of religion (Borey).

The narrator alienated himself from friends and family which caused loneliness and despair, being one of the first themes of the story. He developed a crush on Mangan's sister, who is somewhat older than the boys, however he never had the confidence to confess his inner-most feelings to her. Mentally, he began to drift away from his childlike games, and started having fantasies about Mangan's sister in his own isolation. He desperately wanted to share his feelings, however, he didn't know how to explain his "confused adoration." (Joyce 390). Later in the story, she asked him if he was going to Araby, the bazaar held in Dublin, and he replied, "If I go I will bring you something.' (Joyce 390). She was consumed in his thoughts, and all he could think about was the upcoming bazaar, and his latest desire. The boy's aunt and uncle forgot about the bazaar and didn't understand his need to go, which deepened the isolation he felt (Borey).

During the second part of the story the boy goes through a big transformation

which is the second theme of the story. He quickly grew from an innocent, young boy into a confused, disillusioned adolescent. The boy arrived ...


... middle of paper ...


...which was sponsored by a church, was just a place to buy little toys and trinkets and didn't have significant value like he had dreamed about (Borey).

Throughout the story, the boy went through a variety of changes that will pose as different themes of the story including alienation, transformation, and the meaning of religion. The themes of this story are important to show the growth of the young boy into a man. Without alienation, he wouldn't have understand the complexity of his feelings and learned to accept faults. With transformation, he would have continued his boyish games and wouldn't be able to grow as a person and adolescence. And finally, without understanding the religious aspects of his life, he would go on pretending he is somebody that he's not. He wouldn't understand that there is inconsistency between the real and ideal life (Brooks et al.).


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