James Joyce is a brilliant writer who utilizes homeland politics to criticize the current state of Dublin effectively. He uses one of his short stories, Araby, in his book Dubliners to explain the idea of coming of age. Joyce’s book focuses on the problems a boy undergoes when transforming childhood to adulthood and the yearning to escape for adventure. The boy in the story finds love but ends up having a bad experience when he realizes how significant the gap between ideal and real is.
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Joyce’s book centers its argument on the idea of coming of age. The narrator reflects on the attachment he had with the Araby market during his youth. He spends less time with his friends, and frequently, he is watching the Araby market’s night from the front window. Since the narrator decides to make independent decisions, he becomes unruly, worsening his teacher’s relationship (Joyce et al., 2014). As soon as he starts to daydream, the narrator loses interest in studying. All these events of deteriorating behavior and the ability to think independently is a sign of growing up.
From ‘Araby,’ the narrator is developing a crush on Mangan’s sister, and as a result, he is learning new ideas on sexuality. Joyce uses detailed descriptions to analyze Mangan’s sister’s physical form, thereby revealing the sexual feelings attached to the narrator. However, the schools he attends are all boy schools meaning he does not know many girls. Having an intense but short-lived affection with a much older girl indicates that the narrator has no experience with girls (Joyce et al., 2014). Mangan’s sister and the Araby market offer an escape route from the ordinary. However, when the narrator reaches the market, he becomes disappointed and immediately realizes that it is not genuinely exotic and his love for Mangan’s sister is fake.
Religion is a dominant theme that Joyce uses to elaborate on the narrator idolizing Mangan’s sister. The spiritual environment is well explained in Joyce’s story, whereby serious Catholics can criticize the narrator’s worship form to his neighbor’s sister. The narrator can be seen attending a Roman Catholic school (Joyce et al., 2014). However, he does not indicate his religious position, but one can see how Catholicism has played a significant role in his transformation. He is also seen to be explaining ideas logically regarding catholic imagery.
Joyce, J., Popper, A., Crise, S., & McCourt, J. (2014). Araby. HarperPerennial Classics.