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ENGL paper 1 Final - Victoria Fain ENGL 1102 Dr Waren The...

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Victoria Fain ENGL 1102 Dr . Waren 01-18-08 The Relation of Setting and Theme in “Araby” In James Joyce’s short story “Araby” he tells the story of a young boy who is / discovering what it is like to fall in love or so he thinks . In “Araby” setting is used in many different ways . It is used as a mirror, in an ironic sense, and as a mold . In this story Joyce uses the setting to support the theme of failed expectations . Joyce begins “Araby” by describing the ironic setting of the street on which the main character, a young boy whose name is unknown lives . The street is called Richmond St . , which is the name of the street that Joyce grew up on . On this street the setting was dim and dreary but the boys out look was happy and playful. He was happy because he could see Mangan’s sister every day when she called him to come in the house . Joyce described it like this, “North Richmond St . , being blind, was a quiet street… An uninhabited house stood at the blind end, detached from its neighbors in a square ground” (61) . In this passage the street is called blind . In literal terms a blind street is a dead end street, which gives a sort of hopeless feeling to the street from the beginning or a sense of entrapment . This is ironic setting to the character who is happily
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playing with his friends and thinking about Mangan’s sister . A second passage shows that “The other houses of the street, conscious of decent lives within them, gazed at one another with brown imperturbable faces” (61) .
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