Analysis of "Araby"

Essay by klemma14College, UndergraduateB+, October 2014

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Analysis of "Araby"

James Joyce's "Araby" is a short story that discusses a young Irish boy's mental development towards maturity. Joyce upholds this by his textual evidence, which may be interpreted by subtext. Multiple literary devices within the fable give it greater depth. In the short story "Araby", the narrator goes through three stages of emotion: indifference, affection, and anguish.

The short story begins with the narrator's description of his neighborhood on North Richmond Street, "An uninhabited house of two storeys stood at the blind end, detached from its neighbors in a square ground. The other houses of the street, conscious of decent lives within them, gazed at one another with brown imperturbable faces"(Joyce 1). It is shown that the narrator lives on a dead end with the rather mundane neighbors. The former tenant of his home was a priest who died in the back drawing room.

Joyce gives the reader a sense that time has almost stopped in the narrator's home through his text, "Air, musty from having been long enclosed, hung in all the rooms, and the waste room behind the kitchen was littered with old useless paper. . . . The wild garden behind the house contained a central apple tree and a few straggling bushes, under one of which I found the late tenant's rusty bicycle pump"(1). The musty air is due to the lack of fresh air in the house. This can be the cause of regularly closed windows or doors. The build up of old papers signifies that no one is cleaning up in the house. The rusty bike that was mentioned can symbolize non-mobility. The house's descriptions sound as if the house is rundown, and the narrator's home or life seems to be in a state of...