Characterization Of Araby Essay, Research Paper
Characterization in “Araby”
Characterization is a major part in many short stories. The
characters in a short story shape the story to make it more interestingto read. The main character of a story usually has human
personalities that are familiar to the reader. All boys have a “crush”on an older girl when they are young. In “Araby”, James Joyce showsall the feelings and emotions of a young boy’s love for his friend’solder sister.
The story takes place in Dublin, Ireland in the young narrator’shouse. A deceased priest had once owned the house and left behindsome books which the young boy enjoys reading. The boy takes thestories that he reads and applies them to his own life. At the
beginning of the story the reader is told of the narrator’s fondness ofMangan’s sister. His quest for her affection is much like that of themedieval knight’s quest for the Holy Grail. As he walks through thestreets of Dublin, “he imagines that he bares his chalice safely
through the throng of foes.” The narrator also imagines Mangan’s
sister as the holy Madonna. At one point, his love for Mangan’s sisteroverwhelms him, and he presses his palms together and begins to
chant “O Love! O Love!”. The narrator’s view of love is idealistic.
He has set Mangan’s sister upon a pedestal, and his expectations of
love are too unrealistic.
At the end of the story, the narrator is bitter. He realizes thathis view of love is idealized and unrealistic. Sordid reality is
epitomized by the fair. The young boy goes to Araby with the
romantic goal of buying a gift for Mangan’s sister, but the bazaar is
dismal and dreary; it fulfills none of the narrator’s expectations. Hisdisappointment in Araby fills him with anger. Along with his
disappointment in Araby, the narrator’s romantic view of love is
destroyed. The destruction of his fantasy of love brings about his
epiphany. He begins to dislike himself because he discovers that his
quest for love was a folly that has wasted his time and made him feel
foolish. He associates this disillusionment of his love with religion. In the end, he is left with a dark emptiness in his soul and bitternessin his heart. At the beginning of the story the reader can see that the narratoris fond of Mangan’s sister. The story ends with the narrator beingbitter as he is disappointed with Araby. The outcome of the story isnot tragic, although the narrator is bitterly disappointed. James Joycedid a great job throughout the story showing the young narrator’sinfatuation for a friend’s older sister.