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"I bore my chalice safely through a throng of foes." What is the significance of this...

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elephante | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 26, 2009 at 6:26 AM via web

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"I bore my chalice safely through a throng of foes." What is the significance of this quote from Araby? 

and what literary device does it portray?

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troutmiller | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted February 26, 2009 at 7:22 AM (Answer #1)

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He is in the middle of the marketplace where he and his aunt are walking "through the flaring streets, jostled by drunken men and bargaining women, amid the curses of labourers, the shrill litanies of shop-boys."  These types of people are considered sinners.  From the beginning of the story, Joyce makes the boy out to be some religious hero who will save and win over the perfect girl.  The theme of religion is sprinkled throughout the text. The books he holds most dear were left there from the priest who lived there before he did.  When Mangan's sister leaves, she is going on a religious retreat of some sort.  Even Araby is a "church-sponsered bazaar."

This quote is significant because it's at the beginning when he sees himself as this religious hero.  He's making his way through the "throng of foes" who are the sinners.  His "chalice" is he himself and his innocence. This is simply a metaphor showing how he must be strong to make it through such a rough place without getting "dirty."

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toloueman | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 13, 2012 at 2:53 PM (Answer #2)

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What is the relationship between this chalice and the Eucharistic cup?

I'm not Christan , I'll appreciate you if you explain it a little bit more for  me.


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