Random Stuff Essay

881 words - 4 pages

2015 September 17
In James Joyce’s short story, “Araby,” an anonymous young boy narrates his attempt at abandoning an austere existence in exchange for a more exciting lifestyle; his opportunity arrives in the form of Mangan’s sister, whose charm persuades the narrator into traveling to the bazaar. Throughout the story, Joyce incorporates contrast in his setting to display polarizing moods. The intricate descriptions of the setting emphasize the narrator’s monotonous life in his neighborhood, the change in perspective caused by his love, and the heavy symbolism behind the closing bazaar.
Joyce begins his story with descriptions of the lifeless street on which the narrator ...view middle of the document...

 The narrator’s daily searches through the front parlour window for Mangan’s sister strike his heart with excitement.  Blinded by infatuation and, physically often, by tears, the narrator’s outlook lifts whenever he sees her.  Suddenly, desolate streets become “flaring streets,” and his senses become acute: “We walked… jostled by drunken men and bargaining women, amid the curses of labourers, the shrill litanies of shop-boys who stood on guard by the barrels of pigs’ cheeks...” (2).  Joyce vividly creates depth to the setting through copious details and sensory imagery, ultimately portraying the shift in the narrator’s perspective.  Moreover, Joyce exemplifies sound to further contrast moods.  Silence encompassed by shadows and darkness juxtaposes the “shrill litanies” and “nasal chanting” that, “converged in a single sensation of life for me” (2).  His sensations that are aroused by her image follow him, “even in the places most hostile to romance,” bringing optimism to his melancholy.  Through juxtaposition of atmospheric setting, Joyce clearly illustrates the narrator’s enamored perspective, empowering the sister’s character and filling the narrator with false hope.  
When the narrator arrives at the bazaar, the morose tone returns, accentuating the theme of vain and obscured love.  While Araby is vital to the setting, it is also symbolic of the narrator’s unconditional desire for Mangan’s sister.  When he finally speaks to his love, he becomes euphoric.  The all-encompassing silence is broken by the cry of Araby in which his “soul luxuriated and cast an Eastern enchantment” (2).  Through this elation, Joyce illustrates the narrator’s pounding desire and anxious hope.  However, his angst soon turns to unrest as time passes with no sign of his uncle: “I sat staring at the clock...

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