James Joyce/"Araby"

Essay by klausloverUniversity, Master'sA+, October 2004

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In his short story entitled 'Araby', James Joyce does an excellent job portraying a section of life in Dublin that revolves around a young boy who develops an infatuation with his friend's sister and how he finds beauty in her among the darkness of life. There are many lines in this story that I found to be marvelous. Being a creative writing major, I tend to focus more on the author's style and wording than the actual, deeper meaning, although I can certainly appreciate that in this novel.

In the third paragraph, the lines 'The cold air stung us and we played till our bodies glowed', brings to mind the bite of the cold, but also their body heat warming them as they glow with sweat. A few lines down, in the stable, a coachman "shook music from the buckled harness, which is very descriptive of the sound.

Then, the young boy describes the object of his affection. 'Her name was like a summons to all my foolish blood' and 'my body was like a harp and her words and gestures were like fingers running upon the wires' are two lines that I loved the most. And when he describes the way the light falls on her form as she stands by the railing, how it 'caught the white curve of her neck, lit up her hair that rested there and, falling, lit up the hand upon the railing'.

And the boy's inner thoughts, 'The syllables of the word Araby were called to me through the silence in which my soul luxuriated and cast an Eastern enchantment over me', and when he said, 'I could not call my wandering thoughts together. I had hardly any patience with the serious work of life which, now that it stood between...