Paper #3 - Henderson 1 Jake Henderson Jefferies Eng 101 5th...

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Henderson 1 Jake Henderson Jefferies Eng 101 5 th November, 2007 Comparison of “Araby” and Signs and Symbols” “Araby” The author of “Araby,” James Joyce was an Irish expatriate writer who was considered to be one of the most influential writers in the 20 th century. He was very well known for his collection of short stories called “Dubliners,” from which “Araby” comes from. The story opened on North Richmond Street in Dublin. It was a dark and desolate street that was described as being blind. The unnamed protagonist and narrator of the story was a young boy in his mid- teens who lived with his aunt and uncle. He soon became infatuated with Mangan’s sister, a young nun that lived across the street. One evening the two finally met and Mangan’s sister spoke of not being able to go to the bazaar because she had a retreat that week in her convent. He then decided to go himself and buy her something. When the boy finally arrived at the bazaar, it was almost empty. He proceeded to a stall and overheard a pointless conversation between a young lady and two gentlemen and was blatantly ignored by the young lady. The narrator states “I lingered before her stall, though I knew my interest was useless, to make my interest in her wares seem the more real (Joyce)”. The story closes with the boy gazing up in to the darkness. “Araby” explores the theme of blindness in the sense that he realizes that his obsession with Mangan’s sister is useless and blinded by his nearing sexual maturity. In the last line of “Araby,” the narrator states “Gazing up into the darkness I saw myself as a creature driven and derided by vanity; and my eyes burned with anguish and anger (Joyce).”
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Henderson 2 All that he was striving for is now a “laughingstock” to him. This is the young boy’s final realization that his infatuation with the “girl next door” was completely blinded by his sexual maturity. This causes him to become angered and feels his actions were useless. This “blindness” is portrayed throughout the whole story. For example, when the story opened Richmond Street was described as blind. Also, many of the young man’s actions are considered blind by himself and by others.
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This note was uploaded on 03/23/2008 for the course ENG 101 taught by Professor Cornett during the Spring '08 term at N.C. State.

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Paper #3 - Henderson 1 Jake Henderson Jefferies Eng 101 5th...

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