A Shattering Epiphany in James Joyce’s “Araby”

Ms. Rokeya, A.K. Zunayet Ahammed


This article attempts to show an adolescent boy's continuing process of self-realisation through his disillusionment with the bleak reality of Dublin in the early twentieth century in the short story “Araby” by James Joyce. Brought up in the drab and deadening surroundings with his uncle and aunt in conservative Catholic cultures, the lonely sensitive boy finds no outlets to express his feelings. Torn between harsh reality and imagination, the boy searches light and a relish of romance. Amidst the darkness, a girl, Mangan's sister, is the only light in his romantic vision. The boy, however, wishes to win her over by bringing her a gift from Araby, an oriental bazaar, which is also an epitome of ideal beauty, love and romance to him. But as he grows up, he discovers that the bazaar is beset by difficulties of the adult world where he finds no way to dream. There he is exposed to a new odious situation which he never felt before. And he undergoes a shattering epiphany which results in realisation and maturation. Indeed, here Joyce keenly evinces how a young boy gains sharp insights into life and reality.


Araby, Bleakness, Boy, Disillusionment, Epiphany, Love, Mangan's sister

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7575/aiac.alls.v.8n.5p.140


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