5.(continued) The main theme in "Araby", by James Joyce, is that there is a fine line between being a child and being an adult. The young boy in this story describes his life on North Richmond Street. The boy and his friend's from the Christian Brothers' School play there every night until they are called in by their families. The boy 's friend Mangan is usually called inside by his sister, who the boy is in love with. One day, Mangan's sister finally speaks to the boy.
Mangan's sister asks him if he is going to the Araby bazaar. She tells him that she would love to go, but she can't because of an event that is taking place at her school. The boy tells her that if he goes that he will bring her back a gift.
The boy asks permission from his aunt and uncle to attend the bazaar.
They agreed to let him go to the bazaar. The boy takes the train to the bazaar and he arrives at closing time. He looks for a cheap entrance, but he is afraid that the bazaar will close so he pays to get in the more expensive entrance. Most of the stands are closed down, but one is still open. He goes over to the open stand that sells porcelain and looks around for a gift, but he can't afford any of the porcelain items in that stand. The bazaar grows darker and the boy is overcome with anguish and anger. He doesn't want to return to the girl without the gift that he promised.
The bazaar allows the boy freedom and independence. It represents adulthood. The boy wants to move into adulthood so that he can be with Mangan's sister. When he fails at his mission of the gift he is also failing at being an adult. When he realizes that he has failed at being an adult, he is overcome with anguish and grief because he knows that he has no chance at being with the woman he loves.