Araby Essay

1115 words - 4 pages

The experience of the boy in James Joycefs gArabyh illustrates how people often expect more than everyday reality can provide and upon that realization, they often feel disillusioned and disappointed. By using dark and obscure references, Joyce gives a more vivid picture of the boy's reality of living in the gloomy town of gAraby.h He uses dark and gloomy references to create the mood or atmosphere, and then transitions to bright light references when discussing Mangan's sister, his fantasy love. The story is told through the eyes of the boy who is, in the beginning, young and stuck in a world of darkness with only the light of Manganfs sister to give him a sense of joy. In "Araby" Joyce uses the images of light and dark to show how a young boy must confront reality. More importantly, Joyce uses light and dark in such a way that the darkness represents reality and the light represents fantasy.Throughout the story, darkness is used as the prevailing theme. James Joycefs story begins at dusk, gwhen the short days of winter came dusk fell before we had eaten our dinnersh and continues through the evening, gI passed out on to he road and saw by the lighted dial of the clock that it was ten minutes to ten.h When Joyce describes the boys gcareer of play,h he uses descriptions such as: gdark muddy lanescdark dripping gardenscdark odorous stables.h These are descriptions of how the boyfs life really was, the reality of his life consisted of playing in dark and depressing streets. He uses such a dark and gloomy setting to be the young boys home because he wants the reader to see what a dull and boring life the boy leads. Though he can escape the reality of his life by fanaticizing about Manganfs sister, the boy never changes the reality that is his life. Again, we see the boy in a dark setting because darkness is the reality of his life and even though he is fantasizing about his love, he cant completely escape the darkness or reality. At this point in the story, the boy doesnft realize that his feelings for Manganfs sister stem from adolescent fantasy or a crush, so to say, that he has developed for her.Light is used to create a fairy tale world of dreams and illusions. Joyce uses the imagery of light when describing Mangan's sister: gshe was waiting for us, her figure defined by the light from the half-opened door.h The thought of Manganfs sister brings joy into the boys drab life and when she talks to him about the bazaar he describes gthe light from the lamp opposite our door caught the white curve of her neck, lit up her hair that rested therech The way he describes her in that instance almost gives her a heavenly angelic presence with the light seeming to shine off her body as if she is a perfect vision of beauty. In his use of this imagery of the light, Joyce is trying to show the reader that the boyfs judgment or view of things may be overly exaggerated. After seeing her figure defined by the light, the boy imagines that he will heroically bring...

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