"A and P" a Return to "Araby" : The Americanization of "Araby"

Essay by DashUniversity, Bachelor'sA, October 2006

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John Updike is known for approaching works of literature that he finds fascinating and writing related stories, with his own spin. Updike seems to have a special affinity for Dubliners. Never was this more apparent in Updike's short story, "A & P." This short story has striking resemblances to "Araby," by James Joyce, who was from Ireland. These two tales both tell a story of a poor, sometimes desperate, romantically infatuated young boy. This boy, though tempted by the slowness of common life, and journeys with innocent urgency, finds out the disillusionments of love the hard way. Their love, or more appropriately named lust, seems to fade away as a facade, turning their thoughts about the women they desire into a harsh reality that frustrate and embitters them. Some have said that "A & P" was America's Araby, and when one examines these stories closely there are several pieces that hold this theory together.

"Araby" by James Joyce and "A & P" by John Updike are two stories, which, in spite of their many differences, have much in common. In both of these stories, the protagonists move from one stage of life to another and encounter disillusionment along the way. I believe that there are several similarities between "Araby" and "A & P" that deal with symbolism of religion, life, love, and imagery; Many people may think that these similarities are coincidences, but I believe that there is a deeper meaning.

To establish the grounds for an argument you must first understand the poems and to understand these poems, or at least to understand where many thoughts about similarities between the two come from, or contrasting thoughts come from, it is necessary to commit the pathetic fallacy, and look at the lives of these two novelists. James Augustine Aloysius Joyce...