Jonathan Abrams is the founder, CEO, and Junior Computer Programmer at Socializr, an online service for sharing event and party information with your friends. Jonathan is an award-winning serial entrepreneur who created the pioneering social networking service Friendster in 2002.
Jonathan is the inventor of a United States Patent for a “System, method, and apparatus for connecting users in an online computer system based on their relationships within social networks.Previously, Jonathan was the founder & CEO of bookmarking community HotLinks, and worked as a software engineer at companies such as Netscape and Nortel.
Jonathan holds an Honors B. Sc.
in Computer Science from McMaster University, which he received after flunking out of engineering school. Jonathan was named a “Breakout star of 2003” by Entertainment Weekly, and as one of Advertising Age Magazine’s “Entertainment Marketers of the year.Jonathan has also been honored as one of the world’s top young innovators by the MIT Technology Review, and nominated in the software designer category for the 2004 Wired Rave Awards.
Jonathan was named as one of the ten sexiest Canadian Jewish Internet entrepreneurs in San Francisco by his friend Lenny.
Jonathan is the co-owner of San Francisco’s new modern speakeasy Slide, and an investor in Vintage 415’s restaurant Mamacita. Jonathan has also co-hosted parties in San Francisco with organizations such as GenArt, Hands on Bay Area, Delicious Karma, Mixed Elements, Donovan, and Martel & Nabiel.Jonathan is a member of the advisory board of the Silicon Valley Association of Startup Entrepreneurs, and has been extensively involved in the silicon valley entrepreneurial community, including past roles such as co-chair of the SDForum Venture Finance SIG, and a judge for the Stanford Entrepreneur’s Challenge business plan contest, the UC Berkeley Business Plan Competition, and the Stanford-Berkeley Innovators’ Challenge. http://www.
jabrams. com/bio/ThemesThere is no more important symbol in the story than the Araby market itself.Its lifelessness, implied cupidity (we see men counting money, but no one buying or selling), and darkness, especially in light of all the hopes the narrator had pinned on it, symbolize for the narrator the truth about both his childish notions and his ideas of love. It is as if he is walking through his own broken dreams at the end of the story.
Furthermore, throughout the story virtually every object encountered serves as a reminder as how dull, bland, stifling and/or repressed life in Dublin is.The books the priest leaves behind after his death paint a picture of someone who, in private, perhaps took more pleasure in scandal and salacious details than he was allowed to show in his life; the ineffectual streetlights show how easily attempts to illuminate Dublin are rebuffed; it is difficult to see any other way to read Joyce’s allusion to “An Arab’s Farewell to His Steed,” a poem that is filled to brimming with flowery language and cloying sentiment, except as a sad, ironic counterpoint to the existence the people of North Richmond live.But, again, the greatest example of a symbol that disabuses the narrator of his childish, romantic notions is the bazaar. All of the story’s other symbols are lesser messengers of the same idea.
For such a short story, it touches on a number of themes: coming of age; the loss of innocence; the life of the mind versus poverty, both actual and intellectual; the danger of idealization; the decreasing importance of the church, even while the empty ceremonies remain; and, of course, the pain that comes when we learn that what we were told about love, through the books we read and the stories we are told, is largely fiction.These themes build on one another to create a network of meaning. While we pity the narrator for the shame and anger he feels when he discovers the difference between fantasy and reality, perhaps we also hope that, in the future, he will learn to love real people instead of the idealized versions of them he creates in his head. While the idea that people must live in such mind-numbing conditions may cause us heartache, we may take refuge in the fact that the narrator has survived, and is able to recount to us the story he now tells us: obviously his imagination has not been stifled.
And while we may find solace in counterbalancing these themes against one another, we must weigh our equivocations against the exorable onslaught of dark, drab, impecunious imagery that Joyce assaults us with in “Araby” to create a vision of childhood that is vitiated of both life and hope. Romantic elementsAraby follows the nelson monomyth structure.However, the story is an anti-romance; the young boy is infatuated with romance stories, and is confronted on all sides by reality, and sexual oppression.  The boy’s na?? ve journey to buy a wonderful gift for his neighbor’s sister ends with the young boy coming to terms with the “unbridgeable chasm between desire and reality”.
He returns frustrated and without his gift, his dream world shattered: Araby contains many themes and traits common to Joyce in general and Dubliners in particular.As with many of the stories in the collection, Araby involves a character going on a journey, the end result of which is fruitless, and ends with the character going back to where they came from. Evelyn is just one other story in Dubliners to feature a circular journey in this manner. Also, the narrator lives with his aunt and uncle, although his uncle appears to be a portrait of Joyce’s father, and may be seen as a prototype for Stephen Dedalus of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and Ulysses.
The scorn the narrator has for his uncle is certainly consistent with the scorn Joyce showed for his father, and the lack of “good” parents is pertinentThe storyThe unnamed protagonist in “Araby” is a boy who is just beginning to come into his sexual identity.Through his first-person narration, we are immersed at the start of the story in the drab life that people live on North Richmond Street, which seems to be illuminated only by the verve and imagination of the children who, despite the growing darkness that comes during the winter months, insist on playing “until [their] bodies glowed. Even though the conditions of this neighborhood leave much to be desired, the children’s play is infused with their almost magical way of perceiving the world, which the narrator dutifully conveys to the reader:But though these boys “career” around the neighborhood in a very childlike way, they are also aware of and interested in the adult world, as represented by their spying on the narrator’s uncle as he come home from work and, more importantly, on Mangan’s sister, whose dress “swung as she moved” and whose “soft rope of hair tossed from side to side.These boys are on the brink of sexual awareness and, awed by the mystery of the opposite sex, are hungry for knowledge.
The narrator especially seems taken by Mangan’s sister, as he finds himself awash with emotions that completely overwhelm him. On one rainy evening, he secludes himself in a soundless, dark drawing-room and gives his feelings for her full release: “I pressed the palms of my hands together until they trembled, murmuring: O love! O love! many times. ” This scene is the culmination of the narrator’s increasingly romantic idealization of Mangan’s sister.By the time he actually speaks to her, he has built up such an unrealistic idea of her that he can barely put sentences together: “When she addressed the first words to me I was so confused that I did not know what to answer.
She asked me if I was going to Araby. I forget whether I answered yes or no. ” But the narrator recovers splendidly: when Mangan’s sister dolefully states that she will not be able to go to Araby, he gallantly offers to bring something back for her. The narrator now cannot wait to go to the Araby bazaar and procure for his beloved some grand gift that will endear him to her.
And though his aunt frets, hoping that it is not “some Freemason affair,” and though his uncle, perhaps intoxicated, perhaps stingy, arrives so late from work and equivocates so much that he almost keeps the narrator from being able to go, our intrepid narrator heads out of the house, tightly clenching a florin and, in spite of the late hour, toward the bazaar. But the Araby market turns out not to be the magical place he had hoped it would be. It was late; most of the stalls were closed. The only sound to be heard was “the fall of coins” as men counted their money.
Worst of all, however, was the vision of sexuality — of his future — that he received when he stopped at one of the few remaining open stalls. The young woman minding the stall was engaged in a conversation with two young men; that conversation could generously be characterized as inane. Though he was potentially a customer, she only grudgingly and briefly waited on him before returning to her frivolous conversation. His idealized vision of Araby is destroyed, along with his idealized vision of Mangan’s sister: and of love.
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