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Questions on "Araby" by James Joyce

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Introduction

Dan Fernandes English 105 Araby by James Joyce 1. Reread the opening paragraph. How does it set the tone for the story? The first paragraph really sets the dark, dreary, cold place that completely lacks life. Some of the words used to describe the neighborhood, such as uninhabited, square ground, gazed at one another with brown imperturbable faces, sound as if they are describing a cemetery. The only life in the neighborhood is of that of the kids as they are let out of school, to play in the alleys and streets of the neighborhood. 2. What does the tone of this story, particularly its lack of humor, tell us about the kind of significance the adult narrator attaches to this child hood experience? It gives you a sense of the boys thoughts and mindset, They express their interest in the adult word. They are on the brink of understanding their sexual identity. ...read more.

Middle

She really helps the narrator identify himself. 4. Why does the dialog the narrator over hears at the bazaar trigger the climax of the story and the insight described in the final paragraph? The market doesn't turn out to be what it was expected to be, the most fantastic place he had hoped it would be. It is late; most of the stalls are closed. The only sound is "the fall of coins" as men count their money. Worst of all, however, is the vision of sexuality -- of his future -- that he receives when he stops at one of the few remaining open stalls. The young woman working is talking with two young men. Though he is potentially a customer, she only grudgingly and briefly waits on him before returning to her care free conversation. His idealized vision of Araby is destroyed, along with his idealized vision of Mangan's sister: and of love. ...read more.

Conclusion

I thought little of the future. I did not know whether I would ever speak to her or not or, if I spoke to her, how I could tell her of my confused adoration. But my body was like a harp and her words and gestures were like fingers running upon the wires." The narrator's dreams are heroic ones, romantic ones; he goes on a "medieval" type quest, similar to a knight in search for a prize for his lady. When he fails in his quest, he sees the world for what it is, and takes his first steps into adulthood. Ironically, it is at this moment when he enters the adult world that we can expect his growth in many ways to cease. Before, when he was simply a boy playing with other boys, he was able to tease magic from the mundane actions of others and the monochrome environs of North Richmond Street; now that he has seen the Araby market for what it really is, the magic he once perceived is gone. ...read more.

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