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Araby

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Anderson Fuller

on 22 October 2012

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Transcript of Araby

Araby by James Joyce Events Setting Symbols Important Topics discussed Tone Atmosphere Imagery/Figurative Language A young boy from Ireland in the town of North Dublin constantly sees a young girl, one of his friends sisters, walking down the street and after a while begins to develop strong feelings for the girl. He is attracted to her mysterious nature and his emotional connection to her and his surroundings. He is worried that when, and if the time comes, he won't be able to muster the courage, the "gusto" to confront and talk to her. He is worried he won't be able to express his true feelings to her and as a result, is stressed. Araby takes place in the late 19th century/early 20th century, a time of struggle for Ireland, on a boring street North Dublin, described as "being blind, was a quiet street except at the hour when the Christian Brother's School set the boys free" (Joyce 1). Bazaar-
The bazaar can be seen as a symbol of false hopes and anticipation. He assumed the best, and expected to be blown away with the magnitude of greatness that he thought the bazaar would behold, but upon arrival, he soon realized that the bazaar was anything but, and at best could be described as okay. He left, feeling disappointed and upset with himself. In Araby, there seems to be a pastiche of emotions, prominently being depression, darkness, sadness, and disappointment. The narrator constantly fails in his attempts to "get the girl", his expectations for the bazaar are in vain, for it is just another let down. Even the house of the narrator was run down, musty and even the former living place of a priest, before he died, in the same house. All of the events of the story create a very sad and depressing image of the boys life at this time, with everything being a disappointment, and ending in failure. -The coming of age
-False expectations
-Dissapointment
-Lust (mild)
-The difficulties of young love
-Coping with failures In Araby, there seems to be an underlying sense of despair, anger, hopelessness, a lack of direction. The boy doesn't know where to go next because all of his previous ventures have ended in failure. James constantly uses adjectives to describe things in a negative manner, such as the house, the street, the bazaar, rather than possible positive qualities. The end of the story involves the boy being alone, in darkness, an obvious and dominant theme, with the boy crying, "burning with anguish." (Joyce 22) "The other houses of the street, conscious of decent lives within them, gazed at one another with brown imperturbable faces." (Joyce 1)

This is an example of personification, where Joyce is saying that most of, if not all of the other houses seem to be better than the one at the "blind end", having no neighbours, and gives the houses the capability of not only seeing one another, but seeing with a certain style. At the time, Dublin, being a part of Ireland was seeking freedom and liberty from Great Britain, so it was a stressful time Time The Absence of light, or action-
Throughout the novel the narrator describes a constant sense of seemingly nothingness, a darkness. The darkness perhaps represents the boys uncertainty not only with himself, but with the decisions he wants to make, such as make an advance towards his lover, however every time he tries, it only gets worse, furthering the amount of uncertainty in himself. Once the boy finally figures out perhaps she isn't that interested after all, he is but a, what one could say, husk. He is upset, and no further than what he was before. Araby also takes place in the narrator's house, which he describes as being in tatters, musty "from having been long enclosed" (Joyce 1) and unsightly . Araby also takes place in a trade center of sorts, a bazaar, which at the time during the story was closed with a "greater part of the hall" being "in darkness" (Joyce 17) "My body was like a harp and her words and gestures were like fingers running upon the wires." (Joyce 5)

This would be an example of objectification or reverse personification, where the narrator describes that his body is like a harp, and his lover being the player, as if she controls him, with the simplest of gestures and actions. She has absolute power over him, and more importantly, his emotions. The narrator almost goes to say that she can play his heart strings like the common proverb. Structure Exposition: A simple love story, the narrator loves a girl, but is too scared to tell her about how he feels.
Complications: The boy lusts for the girl so much that she takes over his every waking thought, be it at church during prayers, or anywhere else. This makes things more difficult because his love becomes almost an addiction, and obsession, and he fears the outcome of asking her even further. Eventually, she casually asks if he's attending the bazaar, to which he excitedly responded yes, going far enough to offer to buy her a gift as well.
Peak: The boy finally talks to his lover, decides to go the bazaar, only to be forced to wait as his uncle takes his sweet time.
Falling Action: After the boy arrives at the far too hyped up bazaar, he realizes it is isn't as great as he thought it would be, perhaps this is because his uncle was so late as to cause them to arrive once it had already started to shut down. Eventually, one of the stallswomen upsets him, leaving him feeling stupid for his actions and how something so petty had led him to these series of events. Theme The theme for Araby seems to be that over anticipation will only lead to being let down, dissapointment. Perhaps also infant love can teach important lessons for later on that will allow people to learn, and grow from the immaturity of their past actions and mistakes. Characters Narrator - A young boy who is said to be twelve is in a common pickle of that age, he is in love with an older sibling of his friend, Mangan.
Mangan - A friend of the narrator.
Mangan's Sister - The narrator's obsession and lover.
Mrs. Mercer - The pawnbroker's wife/widow, she collects stamps to raise money.
Narrator's Uncle - He is the guardian of the narrator, he is an alcoholic and his relationship with the narrator is turbulent at best.
Narrator's Aunt - The wife of the narrator's guardian
Dubliners - A general term for citizens of Dublin.
Stall Attendants - Bazaar stall owners who sell whatever to whomever at the hyped up bazaar that left the narrator in disappointment. One can find the events in the story by reading the story, however events of lesser importance shouldn't be noted, only events with great anticipation.
Characters are easily found through, like finding events, reading through the text. Lesser characters or background characters aren't really necessary, however characters who develop are noteworthy. Setting is slightly harder to find than events and characters. Setting is not only the place, but the time, and even more vaguely, the weather, the state of the setting. For example, the description of the houses would give the reader the idea of a run down street. Symbols are much harder to find than the past three. Symbols can be anything, be it a person, a lucky charm, maybe even a pair of underwear. Symbols to look for in this text would be like how the author constantly describes things in a certain manner, how events may not turn out as expected. Little things in the text may result in a very powerful symbol upon further inspection. To find atmosphere, the same conditions apply as setting and symbols. Atmosphere depends heavily on the authors descriptive words, and the emotions the main or secondary characters feel. Such as the boys disappointment at the end of the novel. Important topics also relate to symbols and themes, discussed later on. Important topics can be found through experiences the main character goes through, the emotions the main character feels, and the coping and dealing with of problems. Tone is similar to atmophere, in that the way, and use of different words that the author uses to portray things and events may be the difference in a cheery happy story, and a malevolent tragedy. Imagery and figurative language can be seen throughout the text, but is not as simple as it may seem. Figurative language doesn't mean simple adjectives to describe the colour of one's hair, or the length of one's dress, figurative language is like magic with words, in that the author's clever use of words or puns makes for a much more decisive and detailed description of something Structure, like figurative language can be found in the text, with dramatic events or turning points in the story being the the different parts of the structure, such as the peak, the falling action, or anything else you may consider to be vital to the story's structure. Theme seems to be the most important of all things to find in a story, and possibly the hardest, in that to find the theme one must combine methods from other ways in order to get it. One must find the tone, the events, the atmosphere and important symbols before one can make an accurate guess on the theme of the story. The theme is generally the main idea of a story, or as many of us know from children's books, the moral of the story.
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