James Joyce Araby

Topics: Catholic Church, Roman Catholic Church, Boy Pages: 3 (1154 words) Published: April 20, 2007
James Joyce, the author of the short story "Araby," emphasizes the symbolic blindness and ignorance of the faithful masses of fellow Irishmen and depicts his personal religious and adolescent epiphany through the usage of first person point of view, vivid imagery, and constant allusions to the Roman Catholic Church. The usage of a first person narration allows the reader to see things the way the narrator saw them when he was an unsuspecting youth. Made apparent through his adult observations of adolescent "foolish blood," his reminiscent narration is all but overtaken by the recollection of his naïve boyish thoughts, placing the reader alongside the preteen youth instead of the disillusioned mature voice of an adult Joyce. (Joyce 1) As readers are absorbed in the innocence and naïveté of the young Joyce, the feelings of incredible intensity build to his eventual realization that the object of his affection, Mangan's sister, is blind to him, as the Church is of the poor Irish masses. "Araby" takes place around the turn of the century in Dublin, Ireland. At this time in history, there was great distress between the British Protestant church and the traditionally Catholic Church of Ireland, as there had been for centuries. (Embassy) James Joyce held an immense dislike for the Roman Catholic Church and the strains it put forth, however these were not feelings that could be shared openly. ( Barger) Instead Joyce wrote about them in a symbolic fashion, using his writing as a tool to speak out. The opening paragraph of this story immerses readers in the darkness and ignorance of the Irish streets. He states, "...it was a quiet street except at the hour when the Christian Brothers' School set the boys free," suggesting that their religion had imprisoned them. (Joyce, 1) The former tenant of the boy's house, a charitable priest, had died inside and "left his money to institutions and his furniture to his sister," a symbolic reference to the fall of Roman...
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