Try to explore the major themes in "Araby," including nationality, religion, and relationships between the sexes.
- SuLv 61 decade agoFavorite Answer
“Araby” is narrated by a young boy who is, like most of Joyce’s characters, a native of Dublin, Ireland. Since the conflict in the story occurs primarily within the boy’s consciousness, Joyce’s choice of first-person narration is crucial. We know immediately that Catholicism has served as one of these principles; he attends a Christian Brothers school and at home is attracted to the library of a former tenant of his family, a priest. His identification with Catholicism is more than casual. The narrator’s dedication to Catholicism, however, does not run as deep as he might believe.
Readers learn first that the priest’s library contains three books especially important to the protagonist: a romantic novel, a religious tract written by a Protestant, and the memoirs of a French police agent and master of disguise. If this priest does not maintain a sufficiently pious library, how can this boy be expected to properly practice his religion?More importantly, the boy takes the Catholic idea of devotion to the Virgin Mary and finds a real-world substitute for the Mother of God. We learn that he is especially fascinated by the older sister of one of his schoolmates. In the narrator’s first description of Mangan’s sister she is lit from behind, like a saint. the narrator tells us, presenting an image of himself as a prostrate worshipper. Furthermore, he relates that “her image accompanied [him] even in places the most hostile to romance.”
2008-04-11 03:06:05 補充：
The boy is as rapturous as if he had seen a vision of the Mother of God herself. And when the girl finally speaks to him, he cannot respond coherently: Joyce also makes the nonreligious, and even sexual, elements of the boy’s devotion to Mangan’s sister clear throughout the story.
2008-04-11 03:06:51 補充：
Source: Greg Barnhisel, for Short Stories for Students, Gale Research, 1997.Source(s): http://www.answers.com/topic/araby-story-8, http://www.answers.com/topic/araby-story-8, http://www.answers.com/topic/araby-story-8