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Realizing Mistakes in James Joyce's Araby Essay

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Many times in life, people set unrealistic expectations for themselves or for other people. This is not a very wise thing to do because people often feel disappointed and embarrassed for getting their hopes up so high. One good example of this is the narrator in the short story, Araby, by James Joyce. In the story Araby, a young man develops an infatuation with his friend, Magan’s, sister. Because his infatuation is so strong, he fears he will be unable to express his feelings to her, so when she mentions she cannot go to the local bazaar she has wanted to attend, he seizes this as a perfect opportunity and volunteers to buy her a gift. In the characters mind, giving Magan’s sister a gift will help him earn her attention and maybe in the long run, her affection. With this in mind, the character gets so excited, that he sets his hopes unrealistically high. When he finally arrives at the bazaar, it is then that he realizes his foolishness and decides not to buy her a gift. The narrator feels “driven and derided by vanity” (128) because he has set his expectations unrealistically high a...


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