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Two short stories, A&P by John Updike and Araby by James Joyce, use teenage boys love as their subject. The two boys grow into an adult world through their failures in love. A&P and Araby are much alike, not only in the subject,

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English 220-59 Intro to Literature Prof. Mercier 28. Mar. 2008 Growth after Loss Some people say that the first love is the purest and the most beautiful, and that we fall in love for the first time when we are teenagers. In many cases, however, people lose their first love. I think the reason might be teenager immaturity and a lack of experience. The first time we experience love, we do not know how to understand it. Two short stories, "A&P" by John Updike and "Araby" by James Joyce, use teenage boys' love as their subject. The two boys grow into an adult world through their failures in love. "A&P" and "Araby" are much alike, not only in the subject, but also in the theme, the plot, and the points of view. However, the protagonist of each story shows different characteristics. For example, Sammy in "A&P" is not as impressionable as the boy in "Araby," and he takes the initiative, unlike the boy in "Araby," who is passive towards his growth. The boy's love in "Araby" is more holy than the boy's love in "A&P," and the boy is fascinated by his love interest. ...read more.


We can see that how things in the A&P are arranged and who Strokesie is through Sammy's eyes and notice Sammy's feelings and thoughts. He spends an insipid daily life at the small store as a cashier. He depicts customers as 'cash-register-watchers'(266) and 'the sheep pushing their carts down the aisle'(268). He is not satisfied with his job instead he looks annoyed. He seems to not want to be a manager of the small store in the small town where five miles from the beach like. Sammy is not impressionable like the boy in the "Araby," but he is aware of his surrounding environment and people. His tasks are simple and repetitive, and the people in his work make him tired. The girls are attractive and catch his eye, but there are no a fervent desire of love. Two young boys make decisions that are Sammy quit the store and the boy in "Araby" goes to bazaar. The decisions lead them to be frustrated and make them to grow up. The girls play an important role to make up the boys' mind. The boys are forced to grow into manhood by their surroundings. ...read more.


At the end of the story when he understood his ideal and pure love that made him infatuated with the girl was a mistaken belief, he was frustrated and was angered at himself. He accepted again everything that was happened to him and then got new understanding. Even though his growth followed as a matter of course and was forced by his surrounding, he grew up through his experiences. John Updike and James Joyce made the boys' love to fail to help their growing into real world. James Joyce didn't say the boy's age but we can guess that Sammy is older than the boy in the "Araby." Sammy knows his surrounding environment and what he wants or what he does not want. And he has grown up by trying to deal with his own situations in front of him actively. The boy in the "Araby," however, was guided to growth without any effort to against with every thing he has been faced. He was fully influenced by his misconception with the girl and his feelings completely consumed by his feelings. The ending of these two are miserable unlike the thoughts people believe teenagers' love are beautiful. Because the boys have grown up at the cost of their love, the world in front of them seems harsher, especially to the boy in "Araby" who is more sensitive and young. ...read more.

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