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"Araby", James Joyce

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  1. Introduction
  2. Characters involved in the story
  3. Description of the author's style of writing
  4. The chronological order in the story
  5. Description of the important scenes in the story
    1. Narrator as the romantic hero
    2. The lexical fields of the text
  6. The main themes and opposition of the short-story
    1. Relationship between adventure and romanticism
  7. Conclusion

This short story was written by James Joyce who lived from 1882 to 1941; it is an extract from Dubliners, published in 1914. The book is compound with several short stories which take place in Dublin, and deal with the monotone life of some citizens. The text is entitled "Araby" and tells the story of the unrequited love of a young boy trapped in his everyday life. The events are presented through the voice of an anonymous narrator and reveal his difficulty to escape from the routine and his prosaic life. The author tackles many themes and symbols which allow the reader to enter a dark world surrounded by frustration, sadness and reality.

[...] As far as the time shift is concerned, many temporal markers are used; it provides the text with an impression of realism. At the beginning, the narrator speaks about his every day life and uses temporal markers such as: ?dinners? which are realistic ones and which settles the narrator in an atmosphere of daily routine, reality. In the first part, as in almost the whole story, the scene takes place in the evening. Then other temporal markers are used, such as: ?every morning ?morning after morning Saturday evenings? 40) which stresses the fact that the narrator's life is a never-changing refrain and can explain his impatience when things start changing in the second part. [...]

[...] And so, the reader can see one of the most important opposition in the story, that is to say the difference between the narrator and his surrounding, especially his uncle and aunt. They represent the reality of life which overwhelms the narrator's imagination and love. The narrator's uncle is the personification of routine, tradition and past: he believes in old sayings 114), or recites old poems. More, while the narrator is worrying about his love, the uncle is ?fussing at the hallstand, looking for his hat-brush? 84). [...]

[...] that she will remain just a dream, a phantasm and will never become real. The short story is compound with passages of descriptions, narrations and some dialogues, and can be divided in three parts. The first part from line 1 to 58 presents the narrator's life, his habits but also his hidden love for Mangan's sister. So it is mainly a description, the verbs which are used do not really express actions ?looking watching?, the narrator is often using negative forms such as: had never spoken to or passive forms: image accompanied name sprang to my lips?. [...]

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