Araby by James Joyce essay

Arabyby James Joyce

Arabystory revolves around a narrator who lived with his aunt and uncle inan apartment owned by a deceased priest. The story talks about thelife of the narrator whose name is not clearly defined. However, heresided in the Richmond Street. He had friends who were his neighborsand used to play together. One the narrator’s playmate friendscalled Mangan, who was much older than him, enjoyed most of the timetogether. Mangan had a sister who the narrator of the story wasobsessed with. Therefore, the story uncovers the adventure andobsession of the narrator in chasing Mangan’s sister.

Thecrush first developed when the children were enjoying the games inthe field. Mangan’s sister came to call his brother who wassupposed to take a cup of tea. It was from this moment that thenarrator saw the girl and started developing an interest towards her.To him, the girl looked beautiful and appealing. The way she stood atthe doorway got him puzzled since her looks were eye-catching. Thegirl lived in a certain building across the street and the narratorused this as an advantage to stalk her. Every morning the girl walkedacross the street, the narrator always peeped through the window toobserve her, and sometimes followed her on her way to school.

Allthe time the narrator followed the girl, he never got the courage tospeak to her. It shows a character that is shy and nervous. Severalthoughts were running in his mind. The narrator asked himself anumber of questions, such as when am I ever going to speak to thegirl that I am obsessed with? Will I get rejected? I need to ask herout for a date? All these questions ran in his mind every time hethought about that girl and whenever he saw her. One day, he decidedto overcome all his fears. As the girl was heading home, the two metup on the doorstep of the girl’s home[CITATION Ala07 p 96 l 1033 ].The narrator was yearning for the moment he would ever speak to thegirl. It was like an adventure of his lifetime. As they talked, thegirl asked him if he will attend the bazaar, which was referred to asAraby. It was a name commonly used to refer to the market. It wastaking place in the coming weekend and many people were expected toattend. She intended to go, but had to regretfully cancel it sinceshe was attending another religious ceremony. The narrator was notaware of the event, but since he was enlightened, he decided to go.He promised to bring a gift for the girl.

Whenhe arrived home, he expressed sincerely to his uncle why he needed toattend the bazaar. He was obsessed with getting a gift for the girlhe was attracted to. It was by attending the bazaar that he would getthe gift, which would make the girl of his dreams happy. The narratorfocused most of his thoughts on thegift since his obsession had shifted it. He became restless andstarted ignoring school work[CITATION Ala07 p 89 l 1033 ].

Onthe day of the bazaar, his uncle forgot about the event. He wassupposed to give him the money for the gift but ended up arrivinglate at home. However, this did not make the narrator to lose hope.He was very optimistic and headed up to the market very late.Darkness had begun to engulf the whole place, and it was unfortunatefor him to find that almost all the stalls had closed. The few thatwere open were uninviting since most of the products were expensive.Therefore, he could not afford them. He felt sad that he could notget the gift he had promised the girl. He started imagining how hislife adventures were driven by vanity[CITATION Ala07 p 43 l 1033 ].

Arabyas portrayed in the story portrays frustrations and disappointments. This is seen when the boy is filled with romantic ideas of how he canplease the girl he is obsessed with. Buying her a gift in hisimaginations can help him win over her heart. He arrives at thebazaar late and becomes frustrated after learning that he cannotpurchase any gift at his disposal. All that he had anticipated forincluding his fantasies and imagination were all in vain. Realitytends to be harsher and undesirable to him.

Theburning obsession of the narrator towards Mangan’s sister wasaccompanied by an adventure to fulfill his fantasies. The story ofthe life of the narrator portrays a lonely repressed character.Although he gets emotional with Mangan’s sister, he never expressedthe feeling towards anyone including his family that he lives with[CITATION Ala07 p 68 l 1033 ].He decided to keep it to himself and ended up being frustrated.

Inconclusion, it is clear that the adventure of the narrator does nothave a happy ending. He fails to accomplish the promises that he madeto the girl he was obsessed with. His life is full of regrets andenraged anger.


Friedman, Alan Warren. Party Pieces: Oral Storytelling and Social Perfomance in Joyce and Beckett. New York: Syracuse University Press, 2007. Print.