In the Araby by James Joyce there are two things that the narrator expects to find. Fist he hoped to find a gift for Mangan's sister the girl who he is infatuated with and second he hopes to escape his household into a new and confident independence, to follow his feeling for Mangan's sister into the adult world. However, when he arrives at the bazaar called Araby, which represents for the boy a new world of freedom and adulthood, he is too late to look in most of the stalls, and he is unable to buy any of the vases and bottles he sees. Yet, just when he finds a stall at the bazaar where he can buy Magnan's sister a gift, he notices another girl flirting with some boys. He watches her for awhile and when the young women comes over to see if he would like to buy something, he tells the lady no thank you and moves on.
It is at that moment that he see women are not what he imagines them to be. Instead they are more like the book he found in his room that portrays woman as whores. As the lights go out, he feels miserably out of his element and burns up with anguish and anger especially at the thought of returning to Mangan's sister empty-handed after his promise to get her a gift and more generally at his apparent uselessness to move confidently in the adult world.