The Initiation of a Young Boy by the Realization of His Own Narcissism
As humans grow they pass through various stages of development, often some stages are never reached, when a new stage is successfully reached the person has under gone some sort of initiation. James Joyce's short story "Araby" is in simple terms about initiation, it is a story is about a young boy's adventure that allows him to progress from one stage to the next with the realization of his narcissistic behavior.
At first the boy is innocent, unaware of himself and the world around him. The first few paragraphs reflect this innocence. The street on which the boy lives is "blind" and "quiet" and the house at the end of the street, probably an analogy of the boy, is "detached" and "uninhabited". The house in which the boy lives, describes why he has remained innocent until this point.
The priest who used to live in the house is already dead and thus it symbolizes the lack of the religious guide to the boy's experience. The air in the house is musky, there are old papers and yellowed books in one room, as well as an unkept garden, suggesting that the house was not looked after, and allowed to age on its own, much the same way the boy has. The aunt and uncle are the only family members of the boy mentioned, neither one seems to take much responsibility in raising him, especially the uncle, who seems to be a drunk. The absence of a true parental figure in the story suggests that the boy lacks some sort of mentor to give him direction in his gaining valuable experience.
The boy does have a fantasy, a symbol for his feminine side often found in his...