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Short Story “Araby” by James Joyce

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In the short story “Araby” an unnamed boy describes mostly his thoughts and experiences in a North Dublin street. The allure of a new love and wonderful places mingles with his familiarity to hardships. The boy truly believes that the key to impressing Mangan’s sister is held within Araby, which is a Dublin bazaar. There are some profound similarities in another short story “How to date a Browngirl, Blackgirl, Whitegirl, or Halfie” by Junot Diaz. His allure of a girl, and seemingly any girl made apparent by the naming or multiple races, will take away all those familiar problems.

James Joyce characters are very broad, as if to almost say it could be anyone.

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The boy’s emotions are very much more in his thoughts or dreams and the causing him to be unfocused and on edge at times. While Junot is very specific and also very verbal, as though he’s speaking from true experiences or judging from things that have actually taken place.

He remains much focused on doing small tasks to keep these different types of girls interested in him. Although these two narrators express emotions in two completely different ways, they shape experiences and trials of tribulation that we all must endure, and hopefully one day overcome, to obtain greener pastures.

In the opening sentence of the story, “North Richmond Street, being blind, was a quiet street except at the hour when the Christian Brothers’ School set the boys free,” the narrator seems much removed from the boy (or “the boys,” for that matter), even from the setting itself. The narrator here seems pretty much the conventional third-person limited omniscient narrator. In the closing sentence, however, “gazing up into the darkness I saw myself as a creature driven and derided by vanity; and my eyes burned with anguish and anger,” the narrator is indeed first-person but seems to have fully transcended his state of limited awareness; the way he talks about himself (including the very words that he uses) does not at all sound like something that would come out of the mouth of a very young man.

The narrator often expresses his passion for Mangan’s sister, although he’s remained mostly silent in her presence. “I had never spoken to her, except for a few casual words, and yet her name was like a summons to all my foolish blood.” In his mind, he has built up a love, passion and desire and also a personal opinion for a complete stranger in reality. This similarity is also found in “How to date a Browngirl, Blackgirl, Whitegirl, or halfie”. There are many instances when Junot uses personal experiences or formulates his own opinions on what this type of girl may adore or how they will react in specific situations. Just as the unnamed boy fabricates this dwelling desire for a specific girl, even with no knowledge of who Mangan’s sister truly is. Junot builds up his own personal opinions and passions of a specific race or persons who are also complete strangers. Junot emphasizes that “A halfie will tell you her parents met in the movement. Back then, she’ll say, people thought it was a radical thing to do.” He believes that the color of the skin, or the place they live, even suggesting behavior by which parent, mom or dad, were to drop them off. “If she’s an outsider her father will bring her, maybe her mother.”

Both show examples of complete ignorance or even delusion of reality. One formulates opinions on one person in a race of hundreds of thousands, while the other longs for someone they really know nothing about. Each of these stories show how a male longing for passion or companionship, may lead you to portray something that is fabricated The art adopted in the story is epiphany. In reality the story depicts a young boy’s psyche- journey from romance to despair and disappointment. Araby focuses on the quest for beauty which is universal and the frustration of the quest, which is also universal. The story is symbolic of human predicament – human aspiration and frustration. The symbolic tale is told against the realistic background of a city life. And the story is a fine blend of realism and romanticism. The story bears the evidence of Joyce’s wonderful artistic skill in dealing with the psychological problem of human life. In How to Date a Browngirl, Blackgirl, Whitegirl, or halfie- you see instances where the author is doing things that are not needed to impress women.

“Take down embarrassing photos.” “Since you can’t flush the toilet paper, but the bucket with all the crapped on toilet paper under the sink.” It seems in this story women are helping cloud his judgment in situations where he doesn’t feel complete or adequate. By doing these things to impress these women, not only do they get satisfaction of being almost impressed with themselves but also to help him grow as he goes through these encounters with the opposite sex. The time period in both these stories are completely different, and thus the story being told in the given period. The setting of “Araby” is on North Richmond street, Dublin Ireland at the turn of the twentieth century. The story is written in 1912. “North Richmond street being blind, was a quiet street except at the hour when the Christian Brothers’ school set the boys free.”

The setting of “How to Date a Browngirl, Blackgirl, Whitegirl, or halfie.” This story took place in the New York City area and was written in 1995. In the New Yorker “You’ve already told them you are feeling too sick to go to Union City to visit that Tia…” Most of the desire and passion in “Araby” is done through the mind of the young unnamed boy. It appears to be one of the main differences between methods used by Junot Diaz in “How to Date a Browngirl, Blackgirl, Whitegirl, halfie.” Junot uses more verbal communication and personal experiences to decipher what he feels a woman wants or desires. The boy is almost consumed by thoughts of Mangan’s sister, while Junot is more concerned with what his thoughts and actions are actually accomplishing. In “Araby” the boy states “Her image accompanied me even in places most hostile.” and the fact they have barely spoken reiterates his thought process and the mental aspect of his passion. Junot refers more to how you accomplish achieving passion or what a female may desire depending on her race in his own opinion.

“A white girl might give it up right then.” is an example of strong verbal usage about a specific race of woman, and how they might then act. The major difference between “Araby” and “ How to Date a Browngirl, Blackgirl, Whitegirl, halfie,” is Junot remains more of a trial by error or experience through verbal communication and reactions. While “Araby” challenges the mental aspects of how you may feel or what you may do in these passionate trials of life.

Even though Joyce and Junot use completely different styles, there specific journey’s into the hardships and rewards when encountering a passion or love. Everyone should maintain a balance in the mental aspects in which they choose in this trivial pursuit which is shown more in “Araby” of course. On the other hand, Junot uses verbal thoughts and other ways of
communication to formulate his opinions. Although I think a lesson can be learned from some of the racial stereotypes in “How to Date a Browngirl, Blackgirl, Whitegirl, and Halfie.” It almost seems as though maybe some of these harsh ideas could have stayed inside his mind, and also would have changed the perspective of the story as well.

In everyday romance and passion, one must find that balance between familiar thoughts and speech. Even though the two styles used are different, there are always lessons and growth about passion and overcoming these struggles. If you are able to formulate your own opinions and emotions both verbally, and mentally, you have a chance to strive and flourish in your passionate encounters.

Cite this Short Story “Araby” by James Joyce

Short Story “Araby” by James Joyce. (2016, Jun 16). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/short-story-araby-by-james-joyce/

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