In "Araby," what does the narrator's neighborhood symbolize?

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North Richmond Street, where the boy narrator lives, is in a shabby genteel part of town. Though outwardly respectable, the people who live in this neck of the woods are somewhat impoverished. Nothing much happens in this dead-end street except the daily tolling of the school bell. It's no wonder that the boy should yearn to escape from all this to the magical fantasy land of Araby and all it represents.

This rundown little street, cut off from the rest of town, is symbolic of the condition of Ireland in Joyce's day. A constant refrain throughout the various stories that make up Dubliners is the cultural and intellectual paralysis of Ireland. The air of national decay is palpable in North Richmond...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 356 words.)

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