Explication of Araby

Essay by Divafoxy6University, Bachelor'sA+, July 2004

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Love and Disillusionment

In James Joyce's short story, "Araby," the author describes a young boy's quest from romance to dejection and disappointment brought about by a young girl's unintentional taunts. When the boy falls in love, his religious beliefs and sexual awakenment collide leaving him in a state of utter confusion. He puts a religious spin on his sensual ideas, due to the fact that he is naïve and does not understand what is happening to him. The main character of the piece is an adolescent who is experiencing many new emotions that he cannot comprehend. The only thing he does know about is religion, so he turns the object of his affection into something almost holy.

It quickly becomes obvious that the main character of this piece is youthful due to his lack of knowledge about his own sexual feelings. Instead of acknowledging them for what they actually are, he turns them into something almost sacred.

"Her name sprang to my lips at moments in strange prayers and praises which I myself did not understand" (82). Even he does not understand what his own thoughts are about her, or why he is having them. The only way he can explain the emotional roller coaster that is going on inside of him is to associate it with something he has known his entire life. Therefore, he uses a lot of religious symbolism in order to veil his sexual confusion. "I imagined that I bore my chalice safely through a throng of foes" (82). The chalice, a cup used in

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communion, represents the girl. He is imagining himself to be a knight rescuing his lady from harm, but he does not even realize it.

Eventually, when he finally does give into his feelings he reaches a type...