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Disillusionment in James Joyce's "Araby"

Discuss: Describe what you consider to be the story's main idea. Why does the narrator feel so disillusioned at the end? What could account for such a feeling? What did the narrator learn about himself?

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"Araby" is a story of first love; even more, it is a portrait of a world that defies the ideal and the dream. The story focuses on escape and fantasy; about darkness, despair, and enlightenment: and is a retrospective of Joyce's look back at life and the constant struggle between ideals and reality. On its simplest level, "Araby" is a story about a boy's first love. On a deeper level, however, it is a story about the world in which he lives, a world inimical to ideals and dreams.

The boy's love, like his quest for a gift to draw the girl to him in an unfriendly world, ends with his realizing that his love existed only in his mind. Thus the theme of the story-the discrepancy between the real and the ideal-is ...

Solution Summary

In about 530 words, this discussion considers the story "Araby", highlighting the feelings and motives of the main character and the realizations he comes to formulate throughout his journey to the Bazaar. Essentially, this response highlights how this story is basically about a boy who thinks he is experiencing his first love.