Comparison Of "The Boarding House" And "Araby"

778 words - 3 pages

Comparison of "The Boarding House" and "Araby" James Joyce wrote a collection of short stories that can be found published as Dubliners. An observant reader may notice a trend throughout these stories. They are stories of frustration and escape from the harsh realities that the characters are bound in. "Araby" details a boy's first crush portraying youth and childhood. "The Boarding House" portrays marriage and love as a social convention and a trap. The innocent enthusiasm of "Araby" cannot be found in the "The Boarding House", where the innocent Mr. Doran is manipulated into marriage. The two stories share the themes of frustration and escape. Both of the stories also share a setting in the Irish city of Dublin, Joyce's place of birth. Through examining the plot of both stories a reader can see the frustration the characters are faced with. An unknown narrator tells "Araby" in the first person point of view. The narrator is a young boy who finds himself infatuated with his friend's sisters. During their first conversation she asks if he is going to Araby, a bazaar in town with an Arabic theme. The boy, enamored with his loves words replies yes. When the narrator learns that she cannot go to Araby he promises to bring her back a gift, hoping to win her affection. In order to make his way to the bazaar he must receive money from his uncle, however the day of the bazaar his uncle soon forgets and returns home late. We can sense the narrator's frustration building as he waits in fear that he will not be able to fulfill his romantic notions, and will not be able to attend the bazaar. When the narrator arrives at the bazaar he finds that most of the booths have been closed and he does not have enough money to buy something for his love. Any nice gift is well beyond the narrator's price range. We know, from the description of the boy's housing situation and the small sum his uncle gives him, that their financial situation is tight. Though his anticipation of the event has provided him with pleasant daydreams, reality is much harsher. He remains a prisoner of his humble means and his city. This leaves the...

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