During a person's lifetime, he or she will go through an experience where reality sets in. This realization happens either very quickly or takes time. In "Araby" and "The Swimmer" the two main characters go through a circumstance that brings them into reality. Even though the boy in "Araby" and the man, Neddy, in "The Swimmer" are in different phases of their lives they share a similarity in the process of figuring out what life has for them.
In "Araby" a young boy falls madly in love with Mangan's sister, a teenager. He has this fantasy where he sees her and him together, but in reality she doesn't pay him much attention. One day she spoke to him briefly if he was going to Araby, a bazaar. He was so excited to get the chance to talk to her that he couldn't remember what he said.
He remembered her saying that she couldn't go because her convent had a retreat that weekend, so he told her that he would bring her something back. He finally made it to the bazaar to find the perfect gift for Mangan's sister. After looking around, he stumbled upon a girl around the same age as his love interest talking to two guys. She noticed him after a minute or so and asked if he wanted to buy something. Unfortunately, her tone wasn't encouraging and that she was only doing this because it was her job. He said no and she went back to her conversation with the two guys. The boy hung around a little longer until the bazaar shut down. After visiting the bazaar and watching the girl and guys, he realized he had no hope with Mangan's sister.
In "The Swimmer" Neddy...