Araby By James Joyce Short Story Analysis With Summary And Theme

Araby – This article will tell you the short story entitled, “Araby” by James Joyce with story analysis, Araby summary and theme in English. What is the theme, summary, plot, setting, character and point of view of Araby by James Joyce?

Araby Short Story Analysis With Summary And Theme
Araby by James Joyce Short Story Analysis With Summary And Theme

Araby By James Joyce

North Richmond Street, being blind, was a quiet street except at the hour when the Christian Brothers’ School set the boys free. An uninhabited house of two storeys stood at the blind end, detached from its neighbours in a square ground. The other houses of the street, conscious of decent lives within them, gazed at one another with brown imperturbable faces.

The former tenant of our house, a priest, had died in the back drawing-room. Air, musty from having been long enclosed, hung in all the rooms, and the waste room behind the kitchen was littered with old useless papers. Among these I found a few paper-covered books, the pages of which were curled and damp: The Abbot, by Walter Scott, The Devout Communicant, and The Memoirs of Vidocq. I liked the last best because its leaves were yellow. The wild garden behind the house contained a central apple-tree and a few straggling bushes, under one of which I found the late tenant’s rusty bicycle-pump. He had been a very charitable priest; in his will he had left all his money to institutions and the furniture of his house to his sister.

When the short days of winter came, dusk fell before we had well eaten our dinners. When we met in the street the houses had grown sombre. The space of sky above us was the colour of ever-changing violet and towards it the lamps of the street lifted their feeble lanterns. The cold air stung us and we played till our bodies glowed. Our shouts echoed in the silent street. The career of our play brought us through the dark muddy lanes behind the houses, where we ran the gauntlet of the rough tribes from the cottages, to the back doors of the dark dripping gardens where odours arose from the ashpits, to the dark odorous stables where a coachman smoothed and combed the horse or shook music from the buckled harness. When we returned to the street, light from the kitchen windows had filled the areas. If my uncle was seen turning the corner, we hid in the shadow until we had seen him safely housed. Or if Mangan’s sister came out on the doorstep to call her brother in to his tea, we watched her from our shadow peer up and down the street. We waited to see whether she would remain or go in and, if she remained, we left our shadow and walked up to Mangan’s steps resignedly. She was waiting for us, her figure defined by the light from the half-opened door. Her brother always teased her before he obeyed, and I stood by the railings looking at her. Her dress swung as she moved her body, and the soft rope of her hair tossed from side to side.

Every morning I lay on the floor in the front parlour watching her door. The blind was pulled down to within an inch of the sash so that I could not be seen. When she came out on the doorstep my heart leaped. I ran to the hall, seized my books and followed her. I kept her brown figure always in my eye and, when we came near the point at which our ways diverged, I quickened my pace and passed her. This happened morning after morning. I had never spoken to her, except for a few casual words, and yet her name was like a summons to all my foolish blood.

Her image accompanied me even in places the most hostile to romance. On Saturday evenings when my aunt went marketing I had to go to carry some of the parcels. We walked through the flaring streets, 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, the nasal chanting of street-singers, who sang a come-all-you about O’Donovan Rossa, or a ballad about the troubles in our native land. These noises converged in a single sensation of life for me: I imagined that I bore my chalice safely through a throng of foes. Her name sprang to my lips at moments in strange prayers and praises which I myself did not understand. 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. 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.

One evening I went into the back drawing-room in which the priest had died. It was a dark rainy evening and there was no sound in the house. Through one of the broken panes I heard the rain impinge upon the earth, the fine incessant needles of water playing in the sodden beds. Some distant lamp or lighted window gleamed below me. I was thankful that I could see so little. All my senses seemed to desire to veil themselves and, feeling that I was about to slip from them, I pressed the palms of my hands together until they trembled, murmuring: ‘O love! O love!’ many times.

At last she spoke to me. When she addressed the first words to me I was so confused that I did not know what to answer. She asked me was I going to Araby. I forgot whether I answered yes or no. It would be a splendid bazaar; she said she would love to go.

‘And why can’t you?’ I asked.

While she spoke she turned a silver bracelet round and round her wrist. She could not go, she said, because there would be a retreat that week in her convent. Her brother and two other boys were fighting for their caps, and I was alone at the railings. She held one of the spikes, bowing her head towards me. The light from the lamp opposite our door caught the white curve of her neck, lit up her hair that rested there and, falling, lit up the hand upon the railing. It fell over one side of her dress and caught the white border of a petticoat, just visible as she stood at ease.

‘It’s well for you,’ she said.

‘If I go,’ I said, ‘I will bring you something.’

What innumerable follies laid waste my waking and sleeping thoughts after that evening! I wished to annihilate the tedious intervening days. I chafed against the work of school. At night in my bedroom and by day in the classroom her image came between me and the page I strove to read. The syllables of the word Araby were called to me through the silence in which my soul luxuriated and cast an Eastern enchantment over me. I asked for leave to go to the bazaar on Saturday night. My aunt was surprised, and hoped it was not some Freemason affair. I answered few questions in class. I watched my master’s face pass from amiability to sternness; he hoped I was not beginning to idle. I could not call my wandering thoughts together. I had hardly any patience with the serious work of life which, now that it stood between me and my desire, seemed to me child’s play, ugly monotonous child’s play.

ASIDE FROM ARABY BY JAMES JOYCE, SEE ALSO: 140+ Best Aesop’s Fables Story Examples With Moral And Summary

On Saturday morning I reminded my uncle that I wished to go to the bazaar in the evening. He was fussing at the hallstand, looking for the hat-brush, and answered me curtly:

‘Yes, boy, I know.’

As he was in the hall I could not go into the front parlour and lie at the window. I left the house in bad humour and walked slowly towards the school. The air was pitilessly raw and already my heart misgave me.

When I came home to dinner my uncle had not yet been home. Still it was early. I sat staring at the clock for some time and, when its ticking began to irritate me, I left the room. I mounted the staircase and gained the upper part of the house. The high, cold, empty, gloomy rooms liberated me and I went from room to room singing. From the front window I saw my companions playing below in the street. Their cries reached me weakened and indistinct and, leaning my forehead against the cool glass, I looked over at the dark house where she lived. I may have stood there for an hour, seeing nothing but the brown-clad figure cast by my imagination, touched discreetly by the lamplight at the curved neck, at the hand upon the railings and at the border below the dress.

When I came downstairs again I found Mrs Mercer sitting at the fire. She was an old, garrulous woman, a pawnbroker’s widow, who collected used stamps for some pious purpose. I had to endure the gossip of the tea-table. The meal was prolonged beyond an hour and still my uncle did not come. Mrs Mercer stood up to go: she was sorry she couldn’t wait any longer, but it was after eight o’clock and she did not like to be out late, as the night air was bad for her. When she had gone I began to walk up and down the room, clenching my fists. My aunt said:

‘I’m afraid you may put off your bazaar for this night of Our Lord.’

At nine o’clock I heard my uncle’s latchkey in the hall door. I heard him talking to himself and heard the hallstand rocking when it had received the weight of his overcoat. I could interpret these signs. When he was midway through his dinner I asked him to give me the money to go to the bazaar. He had forgotten.

‘The people are in bed and after their first sleep now,’ he said.

I did not smile. My aunt said to him energetically:

‘Can’t you give him the money and let him go? You’ve kept him late enough as it is.’

My uncle said he was very sorry he had forgotten. He said he believed in the old saying: ‘All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.’ He asked me where I was going and, when I told him a second time, he asked me did I know The Arab’s Farewell to His Steed. When I left the kitchen he was about to recite the opening lines of the piece to my aunt.

I held a florin tightly in my hand as I strode down Buckingham Street towards the station. The sight of the streets thronged with buyers and glaring with gas recalled to me the purpose of my journey. I took my seat in a third-class carriage of a deserted train. After an intolerable delay the train moved out of the station slowly. It crept onward among ruinous houses and over the twinkling river. At Westland Row Station a crowd of people pressed to the carriage doors; but the porters moved them back, saying that it was a special train for the bazaar. I remained alone in the bare carriage. In a few minutes the train drew up beside an improvised wooden platform. I passed out on to the road and saw by the lighted dial of a clock that it was ten minutes to ten. In front of me was a large building which displayed the magical name.

I could not find any sixpenny entrance and, fearing that the bazaar would be closed, I passed in quickly through a turnstile, handing a shilling to a weary-looking man. I found myself in a big hall girded at half its height by a gallery. Nearly all the stalls were closed and the greater part of the hall was in darkness. I recognized a silence like that which pervades a church after a service. I walked into the centre of the bazaar timidly. A few people were gathered about the stalls which were still open. Before a curtain, over which the words Caf Chantant were written in coloured lamps, two men were counting money on a salver. I listened to the fall of the coins.

Remembering with difficulty why I had come, I went over to one of the stalls and examined porcelain vases and flowered tea-sets. At the door of the stall a young lady was talking and laughing with two young gentlemen. I remarked their English accents and listened vaguely to their conversation.

‘O, I never said such a thing!’

‘O, but you did!’

‘O, but I didn’t!’

‘Didn’t she say that?’

‘Yes. I heard her.’

‘O, there’s a… fib!’

Observing me, the young lady came over and asked me did I wish to buy anything. The tone of her voice was not encouraging; she seemed to have spoken to me out of a sense of duty. I looked humbly at the great jars that stood like eastern guards at either side of the dark entrance to the stall and murmured:

‘No, thank you.’

The young lady changed the position of one of the vases and went back to the two young men. They began to talk of the same subject. Once or twice the young lady glanced at me over her shoulder.

I lingered before her stall, though I knew my stay was useless, to make my interest in her wares seem the more real. Then I turned away slowly and walked down the middle of the bazaar. I allowed the two pennies to fall against the sixpence in my pocket. I heard a voice call from one end of the gallery that the light was out. The upper part of the hall was now completely dark.

Gazing up into the darkness I saw myself as a creature driven and derided by vanity; and my eyes burned with anguish and anger.

The Short story entitled, “Araby,” is from americanliterature.com

Araby By James Joyce Story Analysis

Araby by James Joyce Analysis is a precise analysis of the short story to further understand its underlying message. Allow us to indulge ourselves by delving into the great story analysis of the story Araby.

TitleAraby
AuthorJames Joyce
Publication Date1914
SettingThe story called “Araby” is set in Dublin, Ireland, in a lot of different places around the city. He is on the street where he lives, North Richmond Street, at the beginning of the story.
ThemeIn “Araby,” the main themes are the loss of innocence and religion, both public and private.
GenreShort story
Moral LessonIn pursuit of one’s desires, one must not be blinded by prospects, get their hopes up too high, or disregard crucial or enjoyable experiences and people around them.
CharactersThe narrator, The narrator’s uncle, The narrator’s aunt, Mangan’s Sister, The priest, Mrs. Mercer, Young female shopkeeper, and Mangan.
SummaryIn The Araby summary, A young boy, comparable in age and temperament to the characters in “The Sisters” and “An Encounter,” develops feelings for Mangan’s sister, a girl who lives across the street. One evening, she asks him if he expects to attend Araby, a bazaar (a market hosted, most likely by a church, to raise money for charity). The girl will be away on a retreat at the time of the bazaar, so she will be unable to attend. The kid pledges to bring her something from Araby if he travels.
The boy asks for and is granted permission to attend the market on Saturday night. However, when Saturday night arrives, his uncle arrives home late, possibly after visiting a pub after work. The boy receives money for the market after much agonizing waiting, but by the time he arrives in Araby, it is too late. The celebration is wrapping up for the night, and he doesn’t have enough money to give Mangan’s sister anything nice. In frustration, the boy sobs.
Araby by James Joyce Short Story Analysis
Araby by James Joyce Short Story Analysis With Araby Summary, Characters, And Theme

Araby By James Joyce

James Joyce, full name James Augustine Aloysius Joyce, (born February 2, 1882, Dublin, Ireland—died January 13, 1941, Zürich, Switzerland), Irish novelist best known for his experimental use of language and exploration of new literary methods in such large works of fiction as Ulysses (1922) and Finnegans Wake (1939). (1939).

James Joyce Biography - Facts, Childhood, Family Life & Achievements
James Joyce

There were many important writers in the early 20th century, but James Joyce was one of the most important. People who read his work know it as modern and avant-garde because it was a mix of literary innovation, narrative, and indirect language. This Irish poet is also a short story writer, novelist, and playwright.

Finnegans Wake is one of the best English books ever written. It came in at number 77 on a list of the “100 best English-language novels of the 20th century” put together by the Modern Library, an American publishing house. His book, “Ulysses,” is thought to be one of the most important works of modernist literature ever written. If you look at the Modern Library (an American publishing company) website, it says that it is the best English-language book of the 20th century.

Araby By James Joyce Theme

In “Araby,” the main themes are the loss of innocence and religion, both public and private.

Araby By James Joyce Genre

In 1914, Irish novelist, short story writer, poet, literary critic, and teacher James Joyce penned a short story called Araby. In 1914, he included it in a collection of short stories titled Dubliners.

“Araby” has a number of themes and characteristics that are typical to Joyce in general and to Dubliners specifically. Like many of the stories in the book, “Araby” has a character embarking on a journey, the outcome of which is ultimately fruitless, and the story concludes with the character returning to his or her starting point.

Araby By James Joyce Moral Lesson

In pursuit of one’s desires, one must not be blinded by prospects, get their hopes up too high, or disregard crucial or enjoyable experiences and people around them.

Araby By James Joyce Characters

Time needed: 2 minutes.

Here are the characters of the short story, Araby by James Joyce from litcharts.com.

  1. The narrator

    An anonymous small boy serves as the narrator. As he is forced to face the often disappointing truths of life, he grows from an idealistic youngster to a blossoming adult throughout the course of the novel.

  2. The narrator’s uncle

    The narrator’s uncle is a commanding character who appears to inspire terror in the narrator and his pals, as they habitually hide from him when he comes home for dinner.

  3. The narrator’s aunt

    The narrator’s aunt is her mother figure. She’s a devout Catholic who fears the Araby market is a Freemason event. She warns the narrator not to go to the market on “this night of our Lord.” Ensuring his uncle lets him go to the bazaar, the narrator’s aunt seems more sympathetic.

  4. Mangan’s sister

    The narrator’s aunt is her mother figure. She’s a devout Catholic who fears the Araby market is a Freemason event. She warns the narrator not to go to the market on “this night of our Lord.” Ensuring his uncle lets him go to the bazaar, the narrator’s aunt seems more sympathetic.

  5. The priest

    The narrator’s house former tenant, who died in the drawing room. He is referenced because some of his belongings, including three books that the narrator is interested in, are still at the house: The Abbot (a romantic novel by Sir Walter Scott), The Devout Communicant (a work of Catholic devotional literature), and The Memoirs of Vidocq (a detective’s memoir).

  6. Mrs. Mercer

    The widow of a pawnbroker who waits for the narrator’s uncle to return home on the night of the Araby market, probably to ask for the money he owes her. She is described as a “old, garrulous woman” who collects used postage stamps to sell to collectors in order to generate money for a religious purpose.

  7. Young female shopkeeper

    As the narrator approaches her stall at the Araby bazaar, a young woman is flirting with two men. The narrator realizes that she and the men with whom she converses all have English accents.

  8. Mangan

    The narrator’s friend from school, who might be based on the Irish poet, James Clarence Mangan. He lives across the street from the narrator. Before dinner, he and the other boys play in the street with him and the other boys.

Araby By James Joyce Summary

In The Araby summary, A young boy, comparable in age and temperament to the characters in "The Sisters" and "An Encounter," develops feelings for Mangan's sister, a girl who lives across the street. One evening, she asks him if he expects to attend Araby, a bazaar (a market hosted, most likely by a church, to raise money for charity). The girl will be away on a retreat at the time of the bazaar, so she will be unable to attend. The kid pledges to bring her something from Araby if he travels.

The boy asks for and is granted permission to attend the market on Saturday night. However, when Saturday night arrives, his uncle arrives home late, possibly after visiting a pub after work. The boy receives money for the market after much agonizing waiting, but by the time he arrives in Araby, it is too late. The celebration is wrapping up for the night, and he doesn't have enough money to give Mangan's sister anything nice. In frustration, the boy sobs.

More Stories To Enjoy

Aside from Araby by James Joyce Story, Araby Summary Analysis, here are more stories for you and your children to enjoy.

This short story, called “Araby is written by James Joyce. In the Araby by James Joyce summary and analysis, states that “Araby” has a lot of things that are typical of both Joyce and Dubliners, like themes and traits. A character goes on a journey, but it doesn’t work out, and the person ends up going back to where he came from. This is like many of the stories in the book.

Based on Araby by James Joyce Short Analysis With Araby Summary, Characters, And Theme, in this story, Araby depicts the conflicts and challenges of colonial Ireland. Liberation from British domination sparked political and social unrest. Joyce also critiques Catholicism. He criticizes Churches for not properly performing their roles.

Inquiries

If you have any questions or suggestions about this post, “Araby by james Joyce Short Story Analysis With Araby Summary, Characters, And Theme 2022.” Let us know what you think by leaving a comment below.

Thanks for reading. God bless

Leave a Reply