Araby Critique Essay, Research Paper
Critiquing James Joyce s Araby
As I read Araby by James Joyce, the shadows encompassing the boy s life crept up on me. The story is viewed through the eyes of an adult male who is reflecting on his childhood memories of the young inexperienced adolescent he once was. The almost lifeless appearance of the surroundings, in which the story takes place, creates a suppression of the soul. His outlook is very dismal, except for the luminous potential of a first romance. However, The lack of knowledge about his situation with his friend s sister, and the lack of adult guidance in the matters concerning love, leads him down a path of disappointment and anger.
To get an idea where the boy s disappointment and anger are coming from, look at the circumstances, which have created his basic knowledge of life. It seems he has no guidance from adults when it comes to the facts of life, because his uncle and aunt do not seem to enforce the basics of the guardian teaching the young. This passage: My eyes were often full of tears (I could not tell why) and at times a flood from my heart seemed to pour itself out into my bosom., shows his tender age that has not allowed him to have the life experience needed to deal with the many questions welling up in his mind and the feelings, welling up in his body. If the feeling he has for his friend s sister is factored in, this young man s grasp on life s meaning is severely weakened. And because of this once again the felling of anger and hurt pour through his body.
In his own glorification of what he expects the bazaar to be like, the boy sets himself up for even more anguish. When he finally enters the magical bazaar, he finds the lights being turned out and the money being counted. The young man is faced with the reality that the bazaar is not the wonderful place he has imagined, but merely another man-made scene of life to make money. He does not want to face this reality. Because of the absence of essential pieces to the puzzle of life, like a strong guardian figure,the adolescent mind contained in the maturing body becomes disappointed and angered by the lack of ability to resolve the conflict between the two.
As this young man journeys through his life struggle, several people he has contact with stimulate the frustration he is feeling. His friend s sister has stirred the passion of his soul. This passion accentuates the reactions he has when his path intersects with the path of other people in the story. An example of this is when his uncle is late coming home the night of the bazaar; the boy is frantic with anger. His uncle has never been a parental role model, but now this lad needs his help to complete his mission of love. Even though his uncle is willing to turn over the money for the boy to go to the bazaar, his uncle still has not yet seen the clues that there is more to this young man s dilemma. Another example is the inability to deal with the rude woman working at the bazaar, which turns him away again disappointed.
As the story comes to a close, the boy has endured several disappointments. He cannot believe that he has allowed himself to be mocked by his own self- importance. The final line of the story, Gazing up into the darkness I saw myself as a creature driven and derided by vanity; and my eyes burned with anguish and anger, shows how intense his feelings are. The narrator exposes the core of his difficulties in life, perhaps a testament to a life not quite fulfilled.