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What does "the Araby" symbolize to Sammy? 

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meggie457 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted February 2, 2009 at 2:57 AM via web

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What does "the Araby" symbolize to Sammy? 

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anzio45 | (Level 1) Assistant Educator

Posted February 3, 2009 at 11:26 PM (Answer #1)

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Problem here: there is no Sammy in Joyce's Araby. The central character is presumably Joyce himself as a child / adolescent on the edge of sexual awakening. His strong attraction towards Mangan's sister becomes closely connected with the romantic notions he forms of the bazaar/amusement arcade Araby and he builds up a fantasy of bringing her back an exotic gift from it. However, he realizes the cheap, tawdry reality of the place soon after he arrives there and this combines with the realisation that his infatuation with Mangan's sister is also a hopeles delusion, driven more by his vanity and tendency to romanticise than by any notice she will ever take of him.

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